I met a handsome fella last night at my back window, he's pictured above. When I first noticed him on the window I told JP it looked like he was asking me to take him to my leader. I stood there really looking at him I began to admire all of his "moth-ness." I began thinking about the things this little moth can do that I cannot. I then thought about how special it felt to be standing there, making eye contact with another creature, about which I know little more than they are drawn to the light. I admired the fuzziness, the wings, 6 legs, the big eyes. Based on a bit of Googling, this is an Agreeable Tiger Moth. I think the name fits, his face seems most agreeable.
Moments like these really give me pause. This moth was outside looking in, but, how many moths wind up inside a home, only to meet an untimely fate with the bludgeoning of a newspaper or smacking of a shoe? How many people never take a moment to be in the moth-ness with their accidental visitor? These moths live only 1-2 weeks once in the adult phase, they don't even eat (their bodies are not made to do so), why not simply let the moth back outside to fly and do what moths do for whatever time he has left?
I was reminded of this poem by Nikki Giovanni:
I killed a spider Not a murderous brown recluse Nor even a black widow And if the truth were told this Was only a small spider Sort of papery spider Who should have run When I picked up the book But she didn't And she scared me And I smashed her I don't think I'm allowed To kill something Because I am Frightened.”
And of this one, Mercy by Rudy Francisco
Do you have a designated bug cup and napkin? For a long time, JP and I had empty salsa jars and sturdy pieces of mail we would use to catch and release our unexpected visitors. We loved the clear salsa jars for 3 reasons, they were clear so we knew if we had captured the bug and we could get a closer look, as well as we could be certain we didn't injure our new friend while sliding the mail over the top of the jar. Sometimes the effort of sliding that piece of mail was herculean, whether because the bug was too quick or we were too nervous!
Now, we use this bug catcher we found on Amazon. This is not a paid endorsement or anything, just a product we use and love. If you watch my show FireSide Chat with Kimberly, you've definitely seen me talking about it! We love it because the handle is long enough to give you some distance if you're nervous, the square piece you use to catch the bug is clear and easy to slide around a wall or flat surface, and the slider to close the bottom is easy to control so no little insect legs or antennae are caught in the process. There's also a magnifying glass at the top of the square so as you're walking the bug out of your house, you can admire the bug-ness.
Tell me below about the process you use to help the bugs find their way out of your home. If you haven't been in the habit of catch and release, are you thinking about it now? What step will you take to become a loving steward to our unexpected visitors?