|Shed snake skin|
|Question mark butterfly|
Question mark butterflies were also awake and flying in the sun. These butterflies overwinter as adults. They roost in crevasses in tree bark, but they break dormancy on warm days. I didn't see much for them to feed on, but they seemed compelled to flit about. I don't imagine that butterflies 'play', that's what it looked like they were doing.
Native silk moths are enormous, fuzzy, and brightly marked. The sea green luna moth is one of the more familiar representatives. Silk moths have an outer silk cocoon protecting their pupa. The silk moth used for commercial silk production is the only fully domesticated lepidopteran. They don't exist in the wild.
Adult silk moths do not have mouths. They do not feed as adults- they live for a week or two and are entirely consumed by the need to breed. In fact, some moth watchers rear female moths in order to use their pheromones as bait to lure in males of the species.
|A luna moth- a type of silk moth|
Snakes and silk moths are both taken as symbols of rebirth and renewal, so it is fitting that I found them while out looking for signs of the changing season. As for spring beauties and trout lilies, I'll just have to keep checking. I don't mind the task.
|A closer view of the cocoon|