The night dwellers…

Engrailed moth (ectropis crepuscularia)

The moth is a creature with a curious beauty. Clumsily clattering into harms way through our windows when our electric lifestyles attract their attention, they seem as though their bodies are too big for their wings to hold up. But flattened out against a window, they’re made of silk and lace. On foot, they have a human quality; furtive, bustling, somewhere secret they need to be in their patterned cloaks of muted metallics. Close up, their eyes betray a melancholy that makes you wonder if they long for flowers and sunshine like their day-flying counterparts. But they live by the light of the moon and the cool, quiet of night so I doubt it.

Death's head hawk moth (acheronita atropos)

They lack the delicacy of a butterfly but they don’t need it, they’ve got more of an edge and feel more mammal than insect with their chunky bodies and fur. To hold one in your hands is like a feather come to life and it’s easy to understand why the moth carries the lost souls of loved ones in so many cultures’ folklore when you see the fine, shimmering dust they leave behind when they die. What moths lack in colour and grace, they more than make up for in dark detail and night dwelling mystery. If you fear them, find them ugly or just overlook them, give them another glance next time one taps against your bedside lamp, you might just see what I see…

Death of a Nightdweller, 2016



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