Sunday, July 24, 2011

Now that's a moth!

I was out in the garage yesterday and found this large, attractive moth resting on the window blinds. According to my handy NWF Field Guide to Insect and Spiders of North America, this is a male Polyphemus Moth. It must be a young one, because it says they can have a wingspan up to 6". After I took these pictures, I let it go and it wasted no time getting as far away from me as possible, high in a nearby tree. In its little moth brain, I'm pretty sure it thought I was going to eat it at any moment. And I almost did. It looked delicious! Yum.

I caught a Imperial Moth several years ago that was about this same size, and it was a brute! It was all I could do to hold on to it... a very powerful critter.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I hope he likes Classic Rock

Our dog Gabriel doesn't like certain noises. Thunder, trains in the distance, fireworks, etc. And I'm sure it doesn't help that he recently lost his life-long buddy, Zeke. The world he has known for the last 10 years has changed forever. And though his doggie life seems to have settled down into a routine once again, things just aren't quite the same anymore... for all of us.
Thunderstorms came rolling into southwest Missouri last night as we were getting ready for bed. All of them were far from Springfield at the time, and we could barely hear the thunder from them. But Gabriel certainly could. And he didn't like it. The barking started, and I scolded him from the top of the stairs and told him to go to bed. It seemed to work... for a while.

approximately 11:10pm
Bark bark bark bark bark bark bark barkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbark....
I get out of bed, go downstairs, open the door and say in a stern voice "Gabriel, NO! Go to bed" So he slinks into his doghouse in the garage and I'm thinking
Hmmmmm... seems to have worked. He stopped. Wonderful. Now maybe I can get back to sleep.

barkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbark... Oh good grief!...
Get out of bed, go downstairs, open the door and say "Gabriel, NO! Go to bed" then I shoo him into the garage and shut the door after saying good night (and please be quiet!) That should do the trick.

Get out of bed, go downstairs, go out to the garage and scold Gabriel briskly "that's enough! Go to bed. He slinks back into the doghouse and I grumble as I slam the garage door.

bark... bark... bark... bark... barkbarkbarkbarkbark
In a huff I gingerly storm down the stairs in the dark again, and swing open the garage door and let the dog know, in no uncertain terms that he is going to "SHUT UP! and go to bed!" Nope, not gonna happen. OK, now what? As I'm looking at him with bewildered wonder, it became apparent that the poor guy was just beside himself. Regardless of anything I might feel about the situation. We needed a new plan. This was not working. Short of just letting him in the house, only to have him want to go outside 20 minutes later, I started to ponder the situation. Then it dawned on me. He needs something to distract him... something to break up the rumbling outside that has him so worked up. So I plugged in the radio and turned it on low. I gave him a pat on the head and said good night and closed the garage door. As I climbed into bed at around 12:15 I said to Pam... "I hope he likes classic rock". Not another bark came from that boy the rest of the night, and we finally fell off to sleep as a gentle rain set in.