La mariposa nocturna (Sp), papillon de nuit (Fr)

What’s to be said about moths? Quiet night messengers, moon-wed, subtly toned and always rewarding inspection. I can’t recall photographing this one although I did so recently. (Correction: I didn’t. It’s Jonathan’s handiwork. What a memory. Thanks, J.) Moths make themselves forgettable, seeking light but never lime-light. Earlier this week, another came in through the kitchen window, aiming for the light above the bench. I turned that off. It made for the one above the table and flattened itself against a high wall. I flicked it into a cup and took it back outside to go and hunt the moon.

According to the OED, moths have two sets of broad wings covered in microscopic scales, and lack the clubbed antennae of butterflies.

Penguin Dictionary of Symbols : said to shrivel the leaf on which it settles, the ‘night butterfly’ is the symbol of the soul seeking the godhead and consumed by a mystical love.


5 responses to “La mariposa nocturna (Sp), papillon de nuit (Fr)”

  1. Nice, thanks, Claire. I’ve noted the website and look forward to settling in for a session with a cup of hot chocolate.

  2. My African childhood was populated by a wide variety of moths, the largest of which was about as big as my outstretched childhood hand – “Molly Moth” was that species’ colloquial name.

    You – and any visiting storytellers – will enjoy paying this website a visit –

    I came across it some months ago and have been meaning to pass the link on.

    I’m very fond of moths – just wish they were better able to resist the allure of the flame!

  3. Lovely writing. (It’s a poem). My sister hates moths and my daughter too. (My daughter says it’s because they are so blind and dumb …) I’m ambivalent – have an almost amused detachment towards their night blunders. But maybe I’ll appreciate them a lot more after reading what you’ve written here with such beauty.

  4. I’m terrified of moths. My brother put one down the neck of my jersey once, and I’ve never quite gotten over it. But now as I look at that still silvery form and read your gentle post, I realise I may (just perhaps) be ready to take my first small step to somewhere new.