I think that nature plays an essential role when living in the south. There are hunters everywhere, home gardens are often relied upon to supply the majority of food and people live in the middle of the woods/mountains/swamp (miles from others). Well this idea is especially evident in my life since spring has started.
My mother's home is surrounded by a thick hard wood forest and since spring has come the wood is teeming with life. It is now the time of year that lunar moths come out *see above*. The wingspan on one of these guys is about 4.5 inches (they're about the size of a bird). Now while I think they really are beautiful, they also freak me out! I mean it's a bug the size of a bird for crying out loud! I have this irrational fear that they will fly into my hair:
I think that nature has played such a significant role in the south that it has taken on a kind of mystical quality. Superstitions and old wives tales have sprung up for things ranging from the promise of guests depending on the direction a bird flies to whether fishing will be any good depending if the cows are lying down or standing. I'm sure that other places around the country and world have similar superstitions. However, it seems that down here these superstitions are still alive and well.
All this talk of superstitions and old wives tales made me curious about the moth and whether there were any beliefs about it. Well apparently there are a few:
Many believe moths bring bad luck when trapped in the left hand.
It's been said that when a large black moth appears, it symbolizes a deceased loved one who is visiting.
If a moth flies around you at night, it means that you will recieve a letter.
In some cultures, it is a superstition that a white moth in a house or trying to get in a sign that a death will come to the family.
Also, apparently some believe that a moth is the soul of a witch.
Whatever the superstitions are, everytime I see this moth I feel as though I have been transported to some primal place where the extinct, giant animals of old still persist.