On a family hike after the last brutal heat wave, I happened to look down — who am I kidding, my eyes are always firmly glued to the ground during hikes — and spotted this fella:


Dad and I googled it (“giant moth wtf bbq,” natch) and it’s a polyphemus moth, a member of the giant silk moth family. Dad figured the heat had killed it off, although our fuzzy friend looked as though it had been around the block a few times anyway.

I picked it up and brought it home, of course. On my second trip to the thrift store I lucked out and found a set of little shadow box frames for $2, one of which was the perfect size for Mothra:

At this point I googled “how to mount a butterfly” and received a wealth of information, most of which I did not choose to follow. I did find it true, however, that dead moths are very brittle and it helped to stow this one in a sealed box with hot wet towels for a bit. After it had loosened up and I had arranged its wings, I poked a few little pins through the back of the board and pressed Mothra down gently, keeping up a steady stream of I’msorryI’msorryI’mreallysorry as I went.

Check out the one remaining feathery antenna. Mothra embodies the spirit of this house rather well; most things in here aren’t shiny new and perfect, but you can find the beauty in them anyway.

Looking around my office right now, I spy:

  • one giant battered silk moth
  • a little vial of mystery teeth
  • the top of a deer skull
  • two geode slices
  • a chunk of driftwood
  • a few pressed leaves
  • a jar of peacock feathers

I’d better start limiting my dating pool to those involved in the natural sciences, huh.