Moth Gardens and Dinner Events
Moth Gardens and Dinner Events get communities excited about backyard naturalism and pollinators. The decline of both has an immediate impact on the quality of our food. It is not a coincidence that our interest in what is going on in our yards and our insect populations have plummeted since the hay day in the early 1900's. Bee populations alone are down 60% since 1950 and other insect numbers have also declined. Both our private Backyard Dinner Parties and Public Moth Interventions/Gardens promote a renewed interest in our insects and are an opportunity to share your garden, break bread with friends and family, and learn the importance of pollinators in a casual and fun event for everyone.
The top left image represents the first photo from portable Moth Gardens created at the McColl Center. You can see the city of Charlotte glowing in the background. The white sculpture in front of the trailer is a moth tent with a "black light" to attract the moths and white lights to help humans see the moths. We learned that moths are not attracted to all light frequencies so we are trying to provide the kind of light with the perfect wavelengths for their eyes. Moths are particularly attracted to white, blue and purple flowers as well! Who knew they were so discriminating! The red tubes you can see in the photos are portable gardens that are planted with pollinator friendly flowers. We can move their favorite flowers around, as we need them.
The bottom left photo shows seven portable power stations developed while in residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson residency in Nebraska City, Nebraska this summer. These power stations will power the lights that attract moths that will be photographed and catalogued. This project was further developed at the McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, North Carolina during the summer of 2013 to bring awareness to the decline of bee populations worldwide.
The top right photos represent the more private "Mothing Dinner Parties". Community members invite us into their backyard gardens were we set up Mothing tents before dinner. Often the invitation is extended by the host to members of their immediate community, like neighbors, family and close friends. After a wonderful dinner supplied by the host and great conversation, we spend time identifying and sharing the insects that have come to the tents. Participants learn about their local nighttime pollinators and other information important to our food and environment while sharing a pleasant experience with friendly people and great food.
Bottom: Spotted Apatelodes Moth
Host: Deciduous Trees
Markings: Thoras has thick black band, abdomen is curled upwards when at rest,
faint blackish lines on wings.