Pomku II

A haiku...

Wet, you tremble on the stairs…
Don’t roll in shit again! 


Pandorus Sphinx Moth

Better Half and I drove out to Ferda's Garden Center this afternoon in search of more heliotrope. This has become our favorite gardening destination. We enjoyed visiting with Bob Ferda and he sold us the very last heliotrope on site - a beautifully arranged basket. (I swear, I will cover my entire yard in concrete and throw away my gardening gloves if FGC ever closes down.)

On our way out, we spotted a gorgeous sphinx moth clinging  to a window screen. Bob didn't mind us taking a few snapshots of the little fellow.  The Sphingidae family interests me and I've blogged one sighting before. Without further ado...


Pandorus Sphinx Moth, © 2012 T. Mininni-Totin.

CATEGORY: Butterfly or Moth
OTHER NAMES: Pandora Sphinx Moth
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Eumorpha pandorus

ADULT SIZE (Length, not including legs): 82mm to 115mm (3.23in to 4.53in; males smaller than females
IDENTIFYING COLORS: tan; brown, white, pink, green/olive green; yellow; orange

 KINGDOM: Animalia
  PHYLYM: Arthropoda
   CLASS: Insecta
    ORDER: Lepidoptera
     SUPERFAMILY: Spingoidea (Dyar, 1902)

      FAMILY: Sphingidae (Latreille, 1802)
        SUBFAMILY: Macroglossinae (Harris, 1839)

         TRIBE: Philampelini (Burmeister)
          GENUS: Eumorpha (Hubner, 1807)
            SPECIES: pandorus (Hubner, 1821)

The moth's upperside is light brown with shades of olive green to green. The forewing has pink streaks along vein ends and near the inner margin, and a dark squarish mark at the middle of the inner margin. The area from the base to the squarish mark is dark green. The underside usually is yellow-green, but sometimes is pale brown. 1  Additional coloration may include orange in place of pink, or deep chocolate/black.

UNITED STATES: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin.
CANADA: Nova Scotia, Ontario. They are reportedly rare in Quebec.

Photograph of Virginia Creeper by Aydin
Adults remain relatively quiet during the day, taking flight at dawn and dusk. They tend to gather close to vineyards, forested areas or river edges where their caterpillar's food plants are plentiful. Courtship is initiated by the female via the release of pheromones; males fly into the wind to locate the female. Eggs are laid one at a time. Caterpillars are dedicated leaf-eaters, hanging out on the undersides of leaves.2   Fully-grown caterpillars pupate in shallow chambers in the soil.

Grape (Vitis), Peppervine (Ampelopsis arborea), and Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

Nectar from flowers including petunia (Petunia hybrida), bouncing bet (Saponaria officinalis), and white campion (Lychnis alba) 3
Pandorus Sphinx Moth, © 2012 T. Mininni-Totin.

1 "Sphingidae of the Americas" website, Bill Oehlke

Virginia Creeper photograph by Aydin Örstan



Chaos in the Dungeon 2012

The Dungeon, and all things Chaotic!

Main Entry: cha·os
Pronunciation: 'kA-"äs
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin, from Greek
1 obsolete : CHASM, ABYSS
2 a often capitalized : a state of things in which chance is supreme; especially : the confused unorganized state of primordial matter before the creation of distinct forms
3 a: a state of utter confusion b: a confused mass or mixture.

Ah, my life. It cycles, resplendent in all its mundane trappings. June 2006 found us working frantically to get the basement into shape. It was a cluttered mess then, and now. We hardly use it unless it is to work on laundry.

Now that my parents are moving here, it will need to become dad’s computer work space as well as store our surplus furniture (we are clearing out our main floor so they can keep their antiques and other furnishings).

The floor was atrocious. Dust was everywhere. The concrete was in need of painting. Manthom boxes littered the floor and all of Better Half’s books, toys and other objets d’crap ran rampant. Ugh.

We should have the basement finished, replete with sealed concrete, by tomorrow. This frees us up to begin transitioning the cluttered upstairs into a serene bedroom and office for my mother. Our current “spare room” is a repository for books, workout equipment and treasured antiques. It must be completely cleared out for her bedroom suite (if it doesn’t fit, I’ll scream. The only other room large enough for a suite is >drumroll< our own). The tiny office has to be purged to make room for the workout equipment. All of our books have to go into tubs (destination: dungeon) and our book cases need a new home somewhere in the house. The carpets in both rooms need a nice cleaning, and their new bedroom needs to be painted.

We have two weeks.

I’m a tad stressed.

SS #219: Superhero

Rain droplets stippled her glasses and partially obscured her vision as she ran. Her bare legs pumped beneath her, falling out of synchronicity with her arms whenever her toes encountered a rut in the asphalt. The white and pink cotton dress clung to her. Mama wouldn’t be happy. It was her newest dress.

I can fly. She said this to no one in particular. It was her mantra. It had sustained her from the creek to the Johnston Diary, and that had to be a whole mile. She had another mile to go. Maybe. She wasn’t sure. She’d ask Dad to clock it the very next time they drove home from the mill. No matter. She swallowed back a lump and pulled off her eyeglasses, slipping them into her dress pocket where they jangled alongside some fishing weights and the tiny bottle Grandpa had handed to her.

She could have sworn her legs belonged on a sock monkey by time she crested the hill. She set off across the pasture, the humid air saturating her lungs. Feels like the oil on the news, she thought. She’d watched it plume in the Gulf and become fascinated by all the fuss. Now she felt like one of those birds, breathing heavy and wishing someone would come along and make the air come in the right way again. No matter, her mind whispered. I can fly.

A bark of thunder heralded the floodgates of heaven opening above her head. It was like sprinting through the world’s biggest waterfall, or maybe like running in a swimming pool. Water pressed weeds and grass to earth and her toes couldn’t find traction. She took to scrambling, tiny arms pulling and pushing, a water bug dance gone horribly wrong.  She doubted herself. She felt her strength waning. She felt those weights rattling around her pocket and knew they would pull her into the earth, down, far down below where even the worms were afraid to go.

“Lori!” Mama’s voice carried across the yard and into the field. The house loomed behind Mama and Dad’s truck sat in the drive.  Suddenly the ground didn’t matter. The humidity and the water couldn’t touch her. She really could fly, just because Mama was so close, and nothing in the whole world would be able to stop her. She reached the fence separating the yard from field, and then was across the yard, and before she could draw a breath, she felt Mama’s warm hug.

“Where’s your grandfather?” the woman asked.

The child pointed back the way she’d come, feeling stupid, feeling worn thin like old cloth, unable to articulate what happened, and afraid to say what she thought might have happened while she was running. She clutched at her dress and felt those horrible lead weights grinding against her glasses. Her finger touched something else. Her eyes widened.  The bottle. Grandpa’s heart pills. She held it up for her mother to see.


The paramedics had proclaimed her a superhero. Dad and Uncle sat in the parlor that evening and took turns trying to come up with a proper name to go with her various powers, each more wild than the next. She lay with her head in Mama’s lap, sleep flicking at the edges of her mind as Mama stroked her hair.

“What do you think, Lori?” Mama murmured. “What’s your superpower?”

“Love,” she whispered back. “Grandpa always says that nothing was more powerful than that.” And then she allowed herself to smile. Grandpa was alive because love gave her wings.

Reprinted from my Pembroke Cottage blog (14 June, 2010). I'm cleaning it out to re-purpose it into a home blog.