Moth Gardens and Dinner Events
Moth Gardens and Dinner Events are designed to ignite community enthusiasm for backyard naturalism and pollinators. The decline of these vital elements has a direct impact on the quality of our food. Interestingly, our interest in our yards and insect populations has dwindled since the early 1900s, with bee populations alone experiencing a staggering 60% decline since 1950. This decline extends to other insect species as well. In light of this, our private Backyard Dinner Parties and Public Moth Interventions/Gardens aim to rekindle interest in our insects while providing an opportunity to share gardens, enjoy meals with loved ones, and learn about the importance of pollinators in a relaxed and enjoyable setting.
The top left image showcases the first photo taken at the McColl Center, capturing the glowing city of Charlotte in the background. The white sculpture in front of the trailer is a moth tent equipped with a "black light" to attract moths, along with white lights to aid human visibility. Through our research, we discovered that moths are selective in their light preferences, so we strive to provide the ideal wavelengths for their visual perception. Interestingly, moths are particularly drawn to white, blue, and purple flowers—a fascinating detail about their preferences. The red tubes visible in the photos are portable gardens filled with pollinator-friendly flowers, allowing us to relocate their favorite blooms as needed.
The bottom left photo features portable power stations for lights that attract moths, which are then photographed and cataloged with the aim of raising awareness about the global decline of bee populations.
The top right photos depict the more intimate "Mothing Dinner Parties." In these gatherings, community members graciously invite us into their backyard gardens, where we set up Mothing tents prior to dinner. Typically, hosts extend invitations to their immediate community, including neighbors, family, and close friends. After a delightful meal provided by the host and engaging conversations, we dedicate time to identifying and sharing insights about the insects that visit the tents. Participants learn about their local nighttime pollinators and other important information related to our food and environment, all while relishing pleasant company, friendly interactions, and delectable cuisine.
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.