Once again, I walked Chance the Dog on the Greenway at Lake Brandt (just off the Palmetto trail), when something bright red and 2 feet off the ground caught my eye. I must say this was one of the most astounding creatures I’ve come across in quite some time – wing span was easily 4″ and top of head-to-bottom over 2.5″. What colors! What beauty! Immediately, I flipped open my smaller G12 camera and snapped a series of images – first from afar, then working my way in much closer (apparently I was not a threat) – no fear, no movement, and best of all, she didn’t fly away!
This is the Royal Walnut Moth in all her glory! Interestingly enough, I wondered why she wasn’t moving (very much), nor was she eating. Upon further investigation, I learned that adult moths do not feed! The caterpillar is known as the Hickory Horned Devil, scary looking, but harmless.
With all the sights to look at and and critters to search for while hiking in the woods, this was truly a lucky, happy accident! Grinned the whole way home too! In fact, grinning right now!!