A few nights ago I got this fabulous moth to my mercury vapour light. This is the appropriately-named Hologram Moth, Diachrysia balluca. The large patch on its back is iridescent, shining green to bronze, depending on the angle of the light. Hints of this colour can be seen elsewhere on the wing as well, set into a lavender-gray base. And in case that wasn’t enough colour, it’s got this wonderful orange head.
This species ranks among my favourite moths, and yet this is only the second individual I’ve ever seen. The first was one I caught in 2008 at my parents’ old house in the Toronto area. It’s somewhat odd that I haven’t encountered it much, really. It has a fairly large range and is found throughout Ontario; and its foodplants aren’t particularly uncommon as it includes Trembling Aspen and Rubus spp. among its preferences. And yet in three summers of mothing here I hadn’t caught it till now. Where’s it been? Who knows. That’s one of the things I love about mothing: you never know what’ll turn up.
An aside. As anyone who keeps their own blog will know, blogging is a time-consuming activity. A single post can run from an hour to three, depending on its length and how much research you do; mine in the past have averaged on the longer side of that range. I’ve struggled to keep posting the last few months, though not for lack of content; simply for lack of time and energy. I keep meaning to improve, and keep failing. So I’ve had to seriously consider how I want to handle the future of the blog. One option would be to discontinue posting… but I don’t think I’m ready for that yet, even after three and a half years of blogging. I’m still taking photos, I still want to share them. The issue is I don’t want to spend two hours writing up a post (even though I want to share all that info! All those photos!). So the solution I’ve come to, after a serious heart-to-heart with myself, is simply to make the posts shorter. One or two photos, a couple hundred words. The blog won’t be quite the same as it was for the first few years, but it won’t be defunct, either. Life is all about compromises.
An additional note to thank whomever it was that nominated my blog for the Canadian Weblog Awards. I got an email the other day notifying me of my blog’s nomination in the categories of Best Written and Nature. I don’t expect to actually win, but it’s flattering to be nominated!
Nominations are open through October, so if you know a Canadian blog you think should be nominated (whether or not you’re Canadian yourself), you should pop over and do so.
6 thoughts on “Hologram Moth”
this will always be my favorite sighting as well.. so happy you’ve had another encounter with this beautiful species. They’re special :) (and hey, short posts work just fine for me. I don’t stress about my blog, I dropped that feeling when life became a bit too busy to worry about such things- and if I were healthy I’d much rather be out any day than inside at a computer…. enjoy it while you can, life passes us by quickly and I’d rather have many unshared photos of wonderful days spent in the field, than worry about the consistency of my blog posts any old day)
That’s a beautiful moth! I understand how busy it can get in summers in Canada. Last year when I was there, I had absolutely no time to work on my blog, although I had heaps of pictures and information to share. Good luck with the Canadian Weblog Awards! :)
That moth is the most beautiful one that I’ve seen yet. Thank you for sharing nature’s wonders. Even if you blogged once a month I would be happy. Putting together a post does take a wretched amount of time, but what you share on these pages is by far better than all the tech/film/filler stuff that I read as well.
i can only imagine the effort this requires for you, but i would be happy with shorter posts than none at all. i learn a great deal from your posts. thank you for the time you dedicate to educating others by sharing your knowledge and photos.
shorter posts with the beautiful photos is a grand idea.
Thanks for the supportive comments, everyone. I really wrestled with the decision to move to shorter posts because I felt like I was copping out or something, or that I’d be disappointing my (legions of? ;) fans, but I just don’t have the longer ones in me at the moment. I’m glad my readers are understanding!
And that sounds like wise advice, Danceswithmoths. When time is short we should use what we have to be out living.