Our little 3.5-acre nature sanctuary just benefited from the addition of 12 River Birch and 25 Winterberry Holly - two of our favorite woodies that will grow appreciably in our lifetime and provide abundant food to wildlife. Just a few days ago, mid-30s and light snow made for a good planting day,
but who knew it would also make for suitable weather for a moth to fly around? I marveled at this cold blooded, delicate creature that didn't mind the cool breeze or cloudy sky and actually found the ability to fly and, in fact, seemed to be purposefully flying from here to there and around again. Wow. I think this moth is one of the Operophtera.
According to Kent McFarland of the Audubon Guides: "Flying and crawling in the cold was probably a great adaptation to a powerful natural selection force, predation. By late October a large percentage of insectivorous birds have migrated south and bats have migrated or hibernated for the winter. With fewer predators comes great success."