Like a Moth to Flame

Disclaimer: I am not a lepidopterist and any information shared or speculated on in this blog are purely from brief research and a creative interpretation of what I’ve learned.

What distinguishes a moth from a butterfly? They have so much in common, so what makes them so different? The distinctions are fascinating. For starters, when a moth begins its transformation, it forms a cocoon. Meanwhile, a butterfly forms a chrysalis. The chrysalis is hard and protective, while cocoons are soft and smooth. A more prominent difference is their antennae. A butterfly’s antennae are thin while a moths are usually fuzzy. When I think of a moth, one of the first things that comes to mind, is their fuzzy antennae.

There are two more interesting differences to take note of between the two creatures in the Lepidoptera family. For one, moths rest with their wings open, while butterflies like to close their wings upon landing. This behavior protects the moths abdomen. Then, finally, butterflies are diurnal, they fly mostly during the day. Moths, as many know, are nocturnal, and many are attracted to light.

How these behavioral and aesthetic differences help each insect survive better is a mystery to me, but it makes me think that moths are more delicate than they let on.

Choosing Moths

When I decided to do moths for our new print, there wasn’t much to it other than the fact that Spoonflower just had it as one of their recent contests. I was looking through the entries to vote and was absolutely inspired. Between the textures and the colors, I saw a fitting theme for our new winter print.



There are so many things in my life that I didn’t used to find beautiful. Honestly, I dont even know why. You might see this coming but moths are one of them. I didn’t realize until recent years how stunning moths can be. Despised for their destructive habits when it comes to our clothing, I always saw them as an enemy. Like so many other opinions I had in my childhood to now, my perception has changed. Now, I see a moth and I notice the patterns, the colors, the quietness of their fluttering wings. Moths are so peaceful and so quietly beautiful.



This is the first of what I hope will be many more informative prints, teaching about the entomology of local flora and fauna.

The Orca Whale print was one of the first more educational prints that we did. Not only that, but we took a leap and for the first time, we partnered with a non-profit. 10% of all our sales on any Orca Whale print goes towards Save Our Salmon and their extremely hard world to not only save our Southern Resident orcas, but to work on saving the salmon and maintain the natural order of the Pacific Northwest ecosystem.

The way I run this business and create these patterns is constantly evolving. I am just beyond thrilled, and honored to be in a line of work sucha s this one where I not only have a way to share my art work and passions with the world, but inform and provide an alternative place to shop that focuses on supporting the beautiful planet we belong to.

What Moths are in the Print?

Feralia deceptiva Deceptive Swallow Moth
- Spotted from March to May
- Lives mostly in the coastal rainforests
- Larvae mainly relieves their sustenance from the Douglas fir
- One of the first moths to come out of their cocoons at the end of winter.

Grammia doris Doris Tiger Moth

- Their activity is strange and shows sightings in May, June, and late August.
- This moth has been difficult to study and very few have been collected. It is unclear whether this means the moth is rare or its just difficult to find.
- They’ve been found in a small part of British Columbia as well as Northern Idaho.


Cucullia luna
- This moth just barely makes it into the Pacific Northwest territory and actually exists mostly within the Great Plains.
- It can be found in southern Idaho in the June/July months.

Hyalophora gloveri Glover’s Silkmoth

- The habitat of this moth is small, normally one of two places, either riverside habitats or among mountain shrubs.
- This month is another one that just barely exists within the Pacific Northwest region. It is found in Southersn Idaho and Oregon.
- Sighted from May to July.

Inspired by Moths

Thinking about moths for a fall print. Moths are quiet, in the sense that they don’t make a big fuss... they come out at night, they wear muted colors and are drawn to a small flame.

Existing during a dark time, being the nocturnal things that they are, they are drawn to that hopeful light. Some scientists believe that they might be attracted to light because they actually use the light of the moon to navigate. The single light source within the darkness, is how they find their way.

Coming up on one of the hardest seasons of the year, pulling through the shortest hours of sunlight. I find the tale of the moths inspiring. It’s a fitting theme for our 2019 Winter Launch; to wear something beautiful, that reminds us what exists within the dark and cold. Beautiful little creatures that are peaceful and hold onto the hope of the light.

References:

http://pnwmoths.biol.wwu.edu/

https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/butterflymoth.html

https://www.livescience.com/33156-moths-drawn-artificial-lights.html