My name is Lucy Golden and I live in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I have always been fascinated by insects, especially moths. Several years ago, my partner, son and I noticed that the numbers of cecropia and promethea moth cocoons in trees in our area were rapidly decreasing. We researched this and discovered that the introduced tachinid fly, C. concinnata, was devastating the population of these glorious creatures. In response to this, we started raising our four native species of giant silk moths; lunas, polyphemus, cecropias, and prometheas. The process of raising these moths has made them a part of our family, and has increased our appreciation of all moths.
We now give extra cocoons and caterpillars to schools, local kids, and anyone who expresses interest. We love sharing what we love, and hope that this spreads appreciation and awareness of both these incredible moths and the greater natural world. Last year, a local writer, Meghan McCarthy McPhaul, wrote an interesting piece about these moths, as seen through our eyes, for Northern Woodlands Magazine. http://northernwoodlands.org/articles/article/silk-moths .
I now do talks about the process of raising these Saturniids, and am thrilled to be a part of a registered National Moth Week event. This will be held at the Rocks Estate, which is a part of the Society for the Protection of NH Forests, held in conjunction with the Ammonoosuc Chapter of the Audubon Society. This event will be held on Wed. 7/22 and will start with a presentation about NMW and the world of moths. We will then go outside to see who comes by to our light and tree solution.
This immersion in the world of moths has influenced my work. I have been a craft jeweler for 25 years. My work tends to be representational and theme-based, often depicting facets of the glorious natural world. I am now fixated on the beauty of moths, and am focusing on them as subject matter. It is an endless pool of inspiration. Because we raise the 4 giant silk moths, I end of with a lot of hatched cocoons. I could never bear to throw them away, as I think they are such incredible structures. I stumbled upon the fact that southwestern Native American and African tribes (how’s that for collective unconsciousness?) take polyphemus (or similar) cocoons and put pebbles into them and then sew them onto ankle straps in order to make sacred rattles, and was inspired. I now put pebbles from the mountains and other special places into the spent moth cocoons and copper electroform them to create jewelry.