full circle in the hundred acre wood

Ten-lined June Beetle

I counted an even dozen of these handsome beetles clustered on the west end of the pool house screen. Buck and I swam lazy backstrokes, watching as a mockingbird treated the screen like a fast food drive-through.

And then there were eleven. The bird returned twice for refills.

And then there were nine.

It was fascinating, albeit macabre, to note that the bugs never flinched or changed their positions, even when it was clear to onlookers that the mocker would return. 

Buck told me years ago that fear is paralysis at the brainstem level. 

Today I more fully understand his words.




 Flannel Moth



This diminutive creature looks like a mystical hybrid: wings, soft fur, hairy legs, protuberances that look like a second set of gossamer wings.

Otherworldly incarnations of life hide in plain view, fantastical life forms with much to teach us, to delight us.






From inside the pool house, this Imperial moth looked muddy brown, but interesting enough for me to go back in the house for my camera. When I slipped around the outside of the building and got a good look at the moth, my mouth went dry and my hand developed a fine tremor. A breeze ruffled the moth’s wing’s. I feared he was about to fly.

Imperial Moth


I hope that mockingbird filled up on crunchy beetles.


0 thoughts on “Blue-Eyed Beetle and Two Moths

  1. ElizabethE says:

    Those are some WILD photos, missy! Truly amazing.


  2. Love this post. You’re so right about fantastical life hiding in plain view! How big was the fuzzy moth? I love that image–the contrast between the hard geometric screen and the soft curvy moth.


  3. Beth says:

    Kathleen — that fuzzy, hairy diva of a moth was only about two inches long — much smaller than the Imperial. Maybe someone can identify it for us?


  4. fletch says:

    I wonder if beetles know how to fear, or were you witnessing beetles metaphorphosizing (sp?) into a mockingbird? That imperial moth looks pretty tasty to me.


  5. Shaddy says:

    I’m excited to have become connected to you through your blog. I appreciate your comment on my blog which I received this morning. It sounds like you get plenty of exercise in your pool. Good for you.
    I’m looking forward to reading more of what interests you.


  6. Hi Beth, I sent your post to an entomologist friend, Don Tuff, a retired professor from Texas State University, and he kindly sent this back:
    “Neat photographs. The beetle appears to be the Ten-lined June Beetle, Polyphaga decemlineata. The large moth has been identified and the smaller one resembles the Black-waved Flannel Moth, Megalopyge crispata (=Lagoa crispata). The species is similar to the one we have known as the Puss Caterpillar or Southern Flannel Moth, Megalopyge opercularis. The larvae of flannel moths are covered with a dense mat of hairs typically obscuriing the head and body. Many of the hairs will be urticating or stinging hairs and in some people can cause very severe allergic reactions to the point of anaphalaxis. The hair on the pupal case can also cause severe reactions particularly when they become windblown and get into a persons nose. Larvae of our moth frequently cause problems when they fall from a tree and get down a persons shirt collar and they are rubbed or handled. Anyway another good photo of an adult. Google the common or scientific name and see more images.”
    Good thing you didn’t want to touch it…


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