This weekend at the farm, we saw something that none of us had ever encountered before. Even my mom and her two brothers (my uncles) who were raised on the farm said this was their first sighting of it as well. At first we didn’t know what it was. I was taking pictures of my grandma’s Tiger Lilies when this creature buzzed by and started hovering over the flowers. Initially we thought it a hummingbird until we noticed its six legs.
I snapped as many pictures as I could. Since it moves quite fast,it was hard to get a decent shot. Uncle Tom went into the house to grab the Peterson Field Guide. Fortunately, next to the picture of the hummingbirds, there was a diagram of the Sphinx Moth because it is sometimes mistaken for a hummingbird. That was our first clue as to what the creature might be.
When I got home, I looked it up online and found out it must be the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth.
From what I could find out, the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth can fly forwards and backwards, like the Hummingbird. It has a proboscis that it uses to suck the nectar from flowers. It can flap its wings 25-30 beats per second and can fly up to speeds of 35 miles per hour. Apparently in this particular genus there are 17 species in the world. Four of which are in the Americas.
I absolutely love it when I learn and discover something new. The chance to picture and identify something like the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth is exhilarating and inspiring on so many levels. As writers, this sort of thing also lends itself to the treasure trove of information we use to build the worlds we create in our stories. I’m already thinking of ways I can perhaps use this newfound knowledge in one of my stories. Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t. Who knows? But there’s always that delicious sense of possibility. I love that.
What have you discovered lately and how has it affected your own writing or projects?
Happy Monday, everyone! Enjoy the pictures of the beautiful Hummingbird Clearwing Moth!