Luna Moth

::Luna Moth (Actias luna):: Gene Stratton Porter kept a room in her house for breeding moths so that she could study them live instead of pinned on a board of dead specimens. As soon as a moth died, she claimed, or at least shortly thereafter, it lost its color. A dead luna moth is still sea glass green, a dead imperial moth still yellow and purple, but the colors no longer move and sparkle and enchant. Subtle variations disappear. The glass-case specimen is a poor representation of the moth with its life in it, that magical life that draws it to moonlight and flutters its wings impossibly lightly on subtle breezes. Our experience of nature changes this way, I think, when the magical energy of childhood leaves us. It sparkles and waves and flutters and dances less. As adults, we have to make a practice of seeing nature with its magic in it. We have to do it with intention and joy, and often, lest we grow up and forget and tame it beyond recognition. Before all we have left are specimens in glass cases.