Sleeping In On a Weekend

Aging rain lilies occasionally bend toward the ground as their blooms fade and their stems weaken. Even so, the arc of the lily at the edge of the refuge pond seemed unusual, and a closer look revealed the reason: a tiny moth had chosen to bed down inside the flower.

As I scooted around, searching for the least obstructed view, the moth never moved. An hour later, it still was deep in its dreams: a real Sunday morning lazy-bones.


Comments always are welcome.

49 thoughts on “Sleeping In On a Weekend

  1. Sundays are for sleeping in, aren’t they? You have a good eye, Linda for picking up these things – that most of us would have walked right past.

    1. The more time I spend in nature, the more I see. I suppose the explanation’s simple enough; as we learn what’s ‘usual’ in the plant or animal world, we’re more sensitive to the unusual — like a stem that looks like the St. Louis arch.

    1. I remember you mentioning your sleepy bees, Tina. I could envision that, but it never had crossed my mind that a moth would (or could) engage in the same behavior. When I found this gem, my day was complete, and it hardly had started.

    1. I’ve spent enough time chasing after butterflies and bees to be very happy when one stays put. A nice pose is one thing, but this moth appeared oblivious to anything going on around it. I was tempted to nudge it to see if it would wake up, but it really didn’t deserve that sort of disturbance.

    1. It surely was a frequent flyer, and it certainly had found a spiffy resting place; maybe it did get an upgrade. Given the cool, gray morning, there might have been a ground stop involved, as well as a nap.

    1. That sounds like my dear cat’s routine. She pulled it off for eighteen years, with a little play interspersed for good measure. But now I’m wondering — would this one be served breakfast in bed on moth-er’s day?

  2. An interesting sight. I never would have imagined a moth sleeping in such a place. I’m wondering if the petals actually close over tight – they wouldn’t have been able to do so on this particular flower with that large insect.

    1. Some gardeners I know have found bees sleeping in their flowers, but, like you, I never would have imagined a moth finding such a cozy spot. These flowers last only a few days, but they do close at night, so it might be that the moth found its spot after the flower reopened. No telling, I suppose. I just found the image appealing; it reminded me of the illustrations in children’s books of tiny fairies sleep in flowers at night.

    1. I took so many photos, I missed noticing this one, which makes the arc more obvious. The weight of the insect must have been just enough to allow the stem to bend but not break.

      As for dreaming, the few articles I skimmed agree that insects don’t dream, because they don’t experience the REM sleep common to mammals and some birds. One article suggests that at least one bird replays its songs in its dreams, as an aid to memory and learning.

  3. Aren’t most moths nocturnal? Somewhere I got that idea. Weren’t you saying it has been rainy where you are? What better flower to co-opt into a brolly than a rain lily?

    1. Generally speaking, that’s true: butterflies fly in daytime, moths at night. There are a few exceptions, and a few moths (like the hummingbird moth) that fly at twilight. That’s why I imagined this one settling down for a nap after a hard night of flying — although it was dampish, for sure, and it seemed to have avoided the dew that had settled on the grasses.

    1. Doesn’t it look comfortable? It certainly seemed to feel secure. After I’d taken a few photos, I reached over to pluck out a few blades of grass that were in the way, and it never moved. At that point, I decided I’d try moving around to get a clearer view, and it still didn’t stir. I was glad I didn’t waken it.

  4. The arc is what caught my eye initially and then as I looked at the flower I saw the moth. The drooping lily would have made a nice picture but the moths adds the lagniappe that really makes it interestinger.

    1. When I spotted the lily, it was quite a distance away, and all I could see was the arc; that’s what made me walk over for a closer look. It was quite a long stem — perhaps twelve inches — so it might have bent a bit anyway, but the moth was the perfect weight to bring it even lower.

      I don’t often think of my heart’s cockles, but when I saw the moth, they were strangely warmed.

      1. I get that feeling often with some of the more attractive insects (even assassin bugs), small vertebrates, invertebrates, and of course flowers. I am sure warming the cockles of my heart wouldn’t have graced my blog, but I am familiar with the phrase, although not the etymology. Thanks for the link. It is an apt phrase for our response to the more endearing members of the natural word.

        It’s fun to think a moth would have some heft to it. :)

        Had I thought of the phrase, this similarly would have warmed mine.

        1. What a beauty that one is. It seems familiar; might you have posted it on your blog? It’s another reminder that behaviors that seem unique or strange may not be. Who knows how many moths will be slumbering away in or on flowers tomorrow?

          1. I don’t think that I have although I thought that I did. I scrolled through my blog library to just link to that but couldn’t find it. Just added it so I could share it. I thought it was a unique capture but then looked online after someone commented on FB that they had seen it before and there were several similar images. There is no explanation why a White Slant-line moth visits a pink lady’s slipper but something must attract some of them.
            Although we’ve had some frosty nights, there are still a few insects flying around including moths. Lots of egg laying going on I imagine.

            1. The differences in our environments often catches me by surprise. We’re still awash in dragonflies, butterflies, and other pollinators of every sort. I’ve seen a few stray monarchs passing through, although the hummingbirds seem to be gone now. Our winter birds are beginning to show up, too, and that’s always fun. I saw my first belted kingfisher of the year today. They’ve been around for a while: Pleistocene fossils of belted kingfishers have been found in Texas.

            2. Slowly their appearances here diminish. On warm days they do seem to revive. Many sleep in the leaf litter while over-wintering and the warmer temperatures rouse them from their slumbers.The hummingbirds are gone here too. Belted Kingfishers…our loss is your gain.

    1. I’ve heard others say that about bees. One of the advantages of having a garden surely is being able to walk out on a regular basis and see what’s going on, close at hand. I recognize individual birds who come to the water bowl I provide, and I imagine it’s easy to begin recognizing the behavior patterns of various insects, even if the individuals aren’t so easy to identify.

        1. It’s not that. I enjoy knowing the specific identities of what I post, and think it’s important. But sometimes the visual impact of the image doesn’t depend at all on knowing the identity: the art/science balance tips to the art side of the scale!

    1. It was the long stem, bent over, that attracted my attention from some distance away, I couldn’t imagine what might have bent it so obviously, without causing a break. I found out!

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