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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Creepiest Part of a House Renovation

Our home renovation is plodding along  progressing nicely, but like many large projects, we have made some surprising, even creepy discoveries. No, I'm not talking about the obscenities I discovered carved into the insulation that was installed in our kitchen. (That was not done by our crew, BTW.). I'm talking about the creepy, unsettling, almost shocking number of moths and insects that have converged on our front door. 

Let me back up a little. 

Our house used to be brown. Brown front porch, tan siding, brown roof, brown windows, brown shutters. All brown. Boring Brown. Not all browns are boring. I'm a brunette and I'm not boring. Brownies are not boring, they are delicious. And coffee is best consumed with a slight brown color, so that's also not boring. But our brown house was boring.

Now we have a blue house (which I adore) and a yellow door (paint color: Honey bees!) and a white trim. The ceiling of our front porch roof is also white. We have lovely big new front porch lights, too. 
I love the new door color, porch color, and lights. But so do moths and insects. LOTS of them. 

One morning in early September, I stepped outside to take a closer look at the variety of moths and insects that are now in love with our front door and porch. It was pretty incredible. Were the moths always there and just perfectly camouflaged against the brown? 

I am fairly interested in moths. I used to teach kids about the Peppered Moth when I worked for Carnegie Science Center. Last year, I spotted the incredibly unique Hawkmoth visiting our purple-blue cardinal flowers last year. I'm even working on a MySci Spotlight submission for Highlights for Children about the incredible features of the hawkmoth. 

So, I snapped a ton of amateur iPhone photos and thought it would be fun to play a moth identification game! 

Moth 1. I'd call this Ghost Moth.
What's it's real name?

Check our the intricate camouflage on Moth 2!
Perfect for hiding on tree bark, but not on my white porch.
Can we uncover it's real name?

I'd name Moth 3 Lichen Moth but I bet it has a different real name.

The sweep of the wings on Moth 4 makes it look like a comic book hero.
But it's really called…??

I think Moth 5 is a moth, but it's hiding it's wings so it's hard to tell.

Such a blurry photo of Moth 6. It's ok if it's too hard to identify.

Moth 8 again wows me with it's wing patterns!! 

I nicknamed Moth 9 Gossamer Green.
I'm sure it's real name is less poetic.

This is combo shot of Moth 6 and a new moth, Moth 10.
I have nicknamed Moth 10 French Toast Moth.

Is this a moth?? I have no idea.
It has wings, six spindly legs. It's creepy awesome.
I call Moth 11 Stick Moth.

Moth 12, the Tiniest Moth.
Smaller than my fingernail!! 

Ok, I'm going to work with my kids to identify the 12 moths that have made our front porch their home for today. I may try to contact an entomologist for confirmation, or I may ask some scientifically minded friends for help. Either way, I hope to have some answers!

P.P.S. Going through a house renovation is tough. It always takes longer than planned, costs more than budgeted, and strange unexpected challenges appear without notice. We started our renovation back on May 23 and the project is still continuing as of September October. Now, the bulk of the work is done but there are small yet crucial pieces still remaining, like drawer pulls and outlet covers. But having it drawn out like this is tough. Like my middle son said, he's "holding the end of his rope!"

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