If you had asked me three years ago, I would never have anticipated that National Moth Week would be my favorite week of the summer. When I attended my first mothing event, I had expected to have a good time, help contribute data to a large-scale science project, and sate a curiosity about how folks surveyed moths. There is little about the natural world I do not find interesting, and in my job with the Native Prairies Association of Texas I work to conserve prairies, but my primary pursuits had always been birds and plants.
Instead, on that first night, I found myself hooked! The blacklight stations had exposed a completely different perspective, and I was charmed by the variety of patterns, colors, and most excellent antennae. In-between moths, the abundance of nocturnal insects drawn into the soft purple glow of blacklights- owlflies, mantidflies, or the plethora of different beetles and true bugs- sealed the deal. In that single night, I understood deeply that my appreciation and understanding of the natural world had become unintentionally daytime biased. These days, when I am out in wild spaces, I appreciate their darkness and have found newfound wonder in exploring late into the evenings in search of moths and other nightlife.
While I still have a way to go to becoming a full-time mothling, I like to think that I am well on my way in the right direction! Now, not only do I look forward to participating in NMW events every July, but I have also begun hosting mothing events out on Texas prairies. This year, the Native Prairies Association of Texas is holding our North Texas moth night at The Nature Conservancy’s Clymer Meadow Preserve in Celeste on Saturday, July 29th. The event is open to the public, but space is limited, so please RSVP by emailing me at email@example.com.
I hope that you will be inspired to participate in a mothing event for National Moth Week wherever you are!
Carly Aulicky, Ph.D., is North Texas Director of Outreach and Stewardship for the Native Prairies Association of Texas in Manchaca. A New Jersey native, she graduated from Rutgers University.
Photo credit: Meghan Cassidy