Day 243 – Dance of the Miller Moth

Art Apple - Day Two Hundred Forty ThreeEvery spring in Colorado we experience a few weeks of the flying fury of the Miller moth.

For a couple of weeks in late May we are inundated with these dusty crazy creatures before they head off to higher elevations for most of the summer. I wouldn’t mind so much if they stayed outside but they are drawn to light so many find their way inside no matter what we do to keep them out.

Moths are guided to instinctually hide in dark safe crevices by day and remain so elusive and secretive that ridding them by our schedule, simply does not work. By night they are looking for the the distant point of light and bearings of the moon to guide their travels (most nights I think they are on this earth solely to creep me out) but apparently the artificial lights in our homes draws them but confuses them because of the proximity – causing their spiral dance and seeming insanity.

For these few weeks every Spring our night time rituals are drastically changed. Right before bed, the entire family (Doug, Ella the dog, Tagger & Bittie the cats, and I) all partake in The Dance of the Miller Moth…

Once our bedtime preparations are done, we set to work to clear the room of our unwanted guests. Many of the moths can be caught by hand if you just wait for them patiently to settle on or near a light but patience is not often handy. Ella’s great joy is watching us throw a sock ball hard against the vaulted part of the walls where the Millers land out of reach – this simple act causes such elation in Ella that she cannot contain her excitement; her jubilant barks and prancing add to the complex choreography. Tagger & Bittie are great scouts – catching them with their eyes and chirping when they’ve got one in their sights. I, of course, cannot catch one without screaming and dancing about in disgust at the slight pop of the crunch when they give way between your fingers and when the situation is especially dire – we get out the vacuum cleaner and suck them to their sad fate. Mostly we all watch Doug, our knight in shining armor, dance around the room clearing the beasts as the rest of us enjoy the show.

The instinctual migration of the Miller moth causes a ritual experience in our home – their frenzy becomes our frenzy until the dance comes to an end for another year.

Until tomorrow.


Day 243 was created in ink and watercolor.

*** Today was a good day. I had my Remicade infusion that will hopefully pull me out of this flare, my husband brought me flowers reminding me that we met 14 years ago today, and Lowe’s called to tell us our new dishwasher had arrived and my sweet husband drove the 15 miles to pick it up and spent all evening installing it. I’d call that a good day any way you look at it!



9 Replies to “Day 243 – Dance of the Miller Moth”

  1. Great post Jenna! A very interesting story. I’d love to see you all dancing around at nightfall 🙂
    Lovely to receive flowers and a new dishwasher!

    1. Well, Betty, maybe not! Besides, the moths have an amazing ability to get me cussing like a longshoreman. I DO NOT LIKE THEM.

    2. Hi Betty!
      We are still dancing around with the miller’s – last night was especially eventful. When will they move on??? Hopefully soon – the local paper wrote an article saying that it wasn’t one of the worst years on record – ha! What do they know – they are in the city, they should try coming out here and tell us that. Oh well, enough of the moth rant – they do make life interesting for a few weeks.
      Hope you and your family are all well,

    1. Thanks Vic – you’ve really got to take a close look to see them but I couldn’t help myself – I had to have those twirling creatures really dancing!

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