As I stepped out on the back stoop last night, something fell to the ground just in front of me landing with a bit of a thud. It was so odd to step out and be almost hit by something falling out of the sky. I looked up and saw nothing.
At first glance at this thing that fell from the sky, I thought it was a small bird. A baby maybe. But as I leaned over to look more closely, I realized it was a pretty good sized butterfly. At about the same time, one of my cats thought that this mystery required a bit of her attention, too. So I immediately stepped in and picked up the butterfly.
A buckeye butterfly maybe? A tad ragged, too.
I walked towards the shed not knowing what to do with this little creature. Was it okay? Why did it fall from the sky? Did it get dropped by a bird? I set it on top of a dog house, but the breeze was too much for the butterfly. It could not maintain it’s balance. That’s when I considered it was maybe dying.
Not knowing what was going on, I placed the butterfly on a piece of cardboard inside the shed. As expected, it died overnight.
So what do I do with it now? How do you bury a butterfly? Or do you bury a butterfly? I just don’t know.
NOTE: From a commenter, we have learned that this is not a butterfly, but a Polyphemus Moth. On googling it, we have learned that this moth is “…one of our largest and most beautiful silk moths. It is named after Polyphemus, the giant cyclops from Greek mythology who had a single large, round, eye in the middle of his forehead (Himmelman 2002). The name is because of the large eyespots in the middle of the hind wings.” On the rather sad side: “The adult moths live for about 7 to 15 days usually. They are unable to eat as adults, like most Saturniidae, and live their short lives just long enough to pair, lay eggs, and die.” Thanks to BS for the identification.