Periled No More, with a Moth

Our utility room saw quite some activity these last few days. We had recently purchased a new hot water heater, to replace the old calorífero,  which was hissing like a dragon in pain and expelling clouds of steam through the release valve with increasing frequency and ardor.
Originally we had planned to replace the electric water heaters with a solar system. Although that would’ve been the superior solution in regard to sustainability, unfortunately, a solar installation turned out to be cost prohibitive at this time and the sickly condition of our old dragon made an immediate change imperative. Our groaning water heater was of the kind typically installed here. The on-demand electric heater also has a reservoir of about three liters of water, which, and that is the problem, is being kept hot at all times. Maintaining this small amount of scalding water requires the unnecessary expenditure of huge amounts of electricity. It shows in your bills, believe me!
Thursday was the big day for the installation of the new calentadores, one in the house and one in our little guest casita. There were the usual ups and downs of an installation, which was handled by a competent electrician, Allan, and his business partner Carlos of CRM-Sistemas de Bombeo (pumping equipment). These guys were really great and, believe it or not, they actually cleaned up after themselves. Including sweeping up little bits of tape and wiring, followed by mopping the tiles! But the operation took all day and it was already getting late for a dinner invitation when a problem with the main unit surfaced. The microchip appeared to be faulty and had to be replaced – would Saturday be alright? Sure, just get out of here, muchachos. Ultimately, we were two hours late for dinner – apologies again, Marian and Aad! The repair had to be shifted to Sunday because Carlos’ uncle died Friday evening. Dear Carlos then sacrificed his Sunday morning to put everything in order. He even brought his English speaking sister with him, in case we had any further questions. That’s Ticos, always helpful and kind! The EcoSmart Tankless Water Heater has excellent performance ratings and we’re looking forward to a reliable service in the future.

Now to the moth part of today’s musing. This exceedingly large moth chose our utility room to spent the night. She was sitting on the wall, pretty high up and stubbornly refused to fly back outside.


Female moth in the Saturniidae family


Since we won’t leave any doors to the outside open overnight, to prevent slightly more toxic creatures, like sapos grandes and vipers from cohabitation, she couldn’t get out on her own. Apparently, the dog food bag provided convenient shelter from the bright morning sun. She tried to squeeze into a narrow hollow beneath the bag. Maybe the kibble’s aroma was plain irresistible …


The moth was not only impressively large, but had beautiful markings in brown and gold with a little iridescent blue, plus a purple and white wavy double line.


Fortunately, moths climb on one’s finger quite readily, so it’s easy to transport them to a more suitable environment for napping than under a crunched up bag of dog food.

Soon she transferred onto some greenery, stumbling over twigs and falling into a hole upside down. Bright sunshine must disorient moths.

Belly-view with pantaloons – doesn’t she looks a bit like an orangutan?

But she recovered quickly if looking a little dazzled and bruised.


Eventually, she found a comfy place for her next snooze.



5 thoughts on “Periled No More, with a Moth

  1. Thanks, Dani! I wish, we could've gone solar, but it wasn't in the cards. This is the next best thing and I hope they're as good as the reviews indicate. You know, having been a cellular biologist, recording the interior of cells, most of my shots now don't seem all that 'macro' to me. I just like to get up close and personal! Thanks, again!!


  2. Very nice! Good luck with the new hot water heater! It sounds like a great idea and economical too. And I love the closeups of the moth! You amaze me with your macro photography! I love that you can see the little hairs! Beautiful!


  3. Enjoyed the read… Beautiful moth , the size was impressive .. Thanks for a good story… Mike Helion


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