New Jersey Moths: Introducing National Moth Week
by Dave Moskowitz
This is my first column for Wild New Jersey and I am very excited that I was asked to contribute. I hope to focus future columns on the incredible moths around us.
With that theme in mind, I am very excited to introduce a new project that is underway in partnership with WildNewJersey.tv and many other groups and individuals across the country. It is called National Moth Week (www.nationalmothweek.org) and is a celebration of moths and biodiversity. It is being held July 23-29, 2012.
Why moths? With more than 10,000 species in North America alone, moths offer endless options for study, education, photography and fun. Moths can be found everywhere from inner cities, to suburban backyards and the most wild and remote places. The diversity of moths is simply astounding. Their colors and patterns are often dazzling or so cryptic that they define camoflauge. Shapes and sizes span the gamut with some as small as a pinhead and others as large as a hand.
Most moths are nocturnal creatures of the night, and need to be sought to see – others fly like butterflies during the day. Finding moths is easy and can be as simple as leaving a porch light on and checking it after dark. Serious moth aficionados use special lights and baits to attract them. Moths are also featured widely in literature and art providing a different angle for enjoyment and study.
Moth Nights are often held by nature groups and allow an easy opportunity for an introduction or for more serious pursuits. National Moth Week brings together everyone interested in moths to celebrate these amazing insects. It is hoped that groups and individuals from all across the country will spend some time during National Moth Week looking for moths and sharing what they’ve found.
During National Moth Week, attend a Moth Night event, start one, get some friends and neighbors together and check the porch lights from time to time, set up a light and see what is in your own backyard, read literature about moths. But no matter what, participate; the richness of moths is sure to fascinate. National Moth Week: Exploring Nighttime Nature.
Dave Moskowitz is Senior Vice President with EcolSciences, an environmental consulting company in Rockaway, NJ, (www.ecolsciences.com) and President of the non-profit Friends of the East Brunswick Environemtnal Commission (www.friendsebec.com). He lives in East Brunswick with his wife and three children and is happy to have stumbled upon a profession that allows him to frequently wander swamps and fields and woods looking for butterflies, moths, dragonflies, birds, salamanders and all other kinds of similar creatures.