Saturday, April 11, 2009
Luna Moth Green Caterpillars ....
Green Luna Moths are large and beautiful. Their tails have a slight twist. Burgundy edges this fantastic creature. This is the moth of the Lunesta commercial!
Their wings have beautiful 'eyes'. Scales cover their wings, giving the moths various colors in their eyespots. Both the forewings and hindwings have eye spots.
Sweet Gum leaves are one of the host plants for these moths. The leaves are the same color as these caterpillars. When not eating, they rest on the stems or petioles, with head and feet raised. They have six real legs in front and ten prolegs in back.
When not eating, their six legs are folded together. These particular caterpillars were preparing to molt. Their head capsules were on the tip of their heads and their prolegs were locked into a mat of silk. After about a day, they would crawl out of their old tight skin, remove their head capsule (like a mask), and continue their lives.
I introduced these green caterpillars to Michael and Caden this week. They've seen thousands of caterpillars, but have not noticed the Luna moths. Their position fascinated the boys. The caterpillars were out of food and we added branches of Sweet Gum leaves to the containers where they were being raised.
I asked the boys if they knew what the caterpillars were doing and asked them to look at their legs. They responded with a puzzled "No". I teased them with "They're praying and thanking God for the leaves we're feeding them."
Michael and Caden are familiar with praying and thanking God for their food. But the idea of caterpillars doing the same was quite a new one. They studied the caterpillars closely. At supper, they told Stephen (Papa) about the caterpillars praying and thanking God for the food we brought them. (They knew that I was teasing them and they were now teasing Papa in turn.)
I grew up with a Daddy and Mother who never ate a meal (or let us eat a meal) without first thanking God for it. The idea of eating any meal without giving thanks was a foreign one. Of course, we didn't always stop to give thanks for a bag of candy or a bowl of ice cream. We teased about it sometimes, saying that God knows we're always thankful for dessert!
As I thought of this later, I thought about how I so often take so many blessings for granted, not stopping to thank God for them. Things like being free from asthma and allergies, being able to move about freely and see with my eyes, living in Florida with long summers and (compared to the north) mild winters, and living with modern medicine and a full educational system. Friends; I fail to thank God often enough for friends and the blessings they bring into my life.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.