Harlequin eyes

I pause.  The first yellow-crowned night-heron of the season lurks about the reed beds that cloak the swamp.  Though no clear view exists, the silhouette of a hunter is unmistakable, a shadowy figure defining stillness even as it moves.  I watch the bird as I might watch a shadow, as I might watch stealth in action.

Yet even as I kneel in verdant grass watching a predator stalk the shallow waters, something else calls to me, some flash of color, some bit of ungreen in a sea of green.  Right next to my knee rests a weary beast who wishes for darkness even as sunlight blankets the world.

A corn earworm moth (Helicoverpa zea) clinging to grass (20080712_09250)

No greater mystery exists than what can be found in the harlequin eyes of a corn earworm moth (Helicoverpa zea), eyes swimming in an ocean somewhere between green and yellow, somewhere betwixt chartreuse green and green, somewhere amongst the shades of green that define lush worlds.

The deeper part of me froze, stopped breathless as I swam through that ocean of green, that delightful and surprising depth seen only in the eyes of a moth.

Close-up of a corn earworm moth (Helicoverpa zea) (20080712_09250_c)

Those bright harlequin eyes…  What a marvel.  What a beauty.

5 thoughts on “Harlequin eyes”

  1. Very cool eye color! I don’t think I’ve ever seen (or noticed) a moth like this. Like birds, a whole big ‘ol world of moths and caterpillars opens up when you start paying closer attention. So much to see, so little time!

    1. Exactly right, Amber. During my most recent walk, I spent two hours traversing a field that normally takes minutes. That’s because each step revealed a whole new collection of goodies to look at.

Leave a Reply