Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

Guess The Critter

Polyphemus Moth, Antheraea polyphemus, Giant Silk Moth, Guess The Critter

Do you remember the story about the Christmas tree that was on our porch that eventually became the Packer tree and after the Super Bowl became the St. Patrick's Day tree?  And how we found a curious and large cocoon on one of the branches?

After four months on the porch the tree ended-up as mulch but we kept the silky capsule in the fridge finally bringing it out at the end of May.

We've been observing it for the past month in a deli container.  It was rarely out of our sight.  It traveled with us up north and back to Tosa.  Back and forth.  Jill would periodically chide me - Why are we wagging that thing around with us.  It's never going to hatch.

I would counsel patience.

Weeks passed and the miles accrued.  I figure that cocoon probably logged as many as 1200 miles. 

Last Tuesday this expectant father received a call from a very breathless Jill while on my way over to City Hall.

It hatched!

Turns out it was a giant silk moth - a Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus). 

With almost a 6 inch wing span it's huge.

The moth is named after Polyphemus, the one-eyed giant of Greek mythology.  It has a unique defense capability.  If disturbed  the moth displays these large eyespots on the hindwings which serve to startle and distract predators.

A totally cool critter.

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