In the depths of the pandemic I took a day to check out the Carderock area and the Billy Goat C trail. Saw some lovely flowers, took lots of pictures; then, while walking fast towards home along the towpath, I spotted this big green thing near the ground, and it wasn’t a plant.
Only a few days before I had been reading about luna moths (Actias luna), and thinking how I’d never seen one, and wouldn’t it be nice to? And there it was, freshly emerged. I sat down at a respectful distance, mounted the camera on a tripod, and started shooting. Over the course of fifteen minutes I took about 40 photos as the moth slowly opened its wings. It was one of the high points of my year.
Once emerged from their cocoons, luna moths live less than a week. They don’t eat. They mate, females lay eggs, and they die. Read about The Life History of the Luna Moth on the Finger Lakes Land Trust website.