The day ended on a pink note. As I was cleaning up outside, I noticed two of the cats all excited about something in the grass. A mouse maybe? No, I could see and hear whatever-it-was fluttering. I walked over to them and at first I thought it was a baby bird. Not really the right time of year for that, but you never know.
It wasn't a bird; it was a moth. A BIG one and really pretty! Earlier this year, we had seen our first hummingbird moth and this reminded me of that. I grabbed it carefully, rescuing it from the kitty's clutches and took it inside. I put it in a large jar and loosely covered it so I could get a closer look and a picture for identification.
Well, I didn't get a good picture, because the poor thing was so scared from the cats and then me putting it in the jar that it was fluttering non-stop. So I took one picture and committed its characteristics to memory (such as its loooooong proboscis), then took it back outside and let it go. Releasing it was like watching a bird take flight.
What I had was a Pink Spotted Hawk Moth (Agrius cingulata) and I'm telling you, the pink was pink. Other than the large size - wing span of four inches or more - the pink stripes on its body were the first things I noticed.
It really was a very beautiful moth and apparently not all that common in Ohio. According to the Butterflies and Moths of North America website, there are no documented reports of this particular hawkmoth for Ohio, except for the Cincinnati area. I imagine they have been spotted here, but apparently not often enough to be included on the range map.
Shortly after seeing the moth, I noticed the sky as the sun set. It was a gorgeous shade of pink. In the east.
I went outside to have a look and the entire sky was lit up as if there were fires on the horizon in all directions.
We've had fabulous sunsets here many, many times, but the beauty is usually limited to the western sky. Not tonight. It was literally everywhere. The sky in the west was a little different color, being more of a hot orange and while that was stunning, I was more fascinated by the rest of the sky and the pink clouds all over it.
The sun is setting in late fall afternoon
Cold snap in the air as the leaves swirl about
A welcoming view is the painted pink sky
Streaks of pale blue dotted with white
Have been suddenly brushed with a soft pastel
The beauty is breathtaking, such natural artistry
I am in awe of the painted pink sky