by Gene Stratton-Porter
Once when I was a child I brought a Cecropia moth home and kept it for a short time, but not until twenty years afterward did I have one at close enough range to take a picture. I did not see it until one summer morning when a little boy brought me a fine specimen in a pasteboard box with a perforation in the top. I took it out, and found it so numb with cold that it could not cling to a twig. I knew that these moths lived only a short time, and, fearing that this one was near death, focused the camera on a branch and tried again to make it cling. The fourth effort was successful, though the moth crept so far away before it settled that I had to change the shutter. It took less than a minute, but when I looked around my fine Cecropia was sailing over the top of the elm trees near the orchard.
Some months later, after one of the most trying days I ever spent afield, I came home to find a Cecropia slowly working its wings up and down on the top step of the cabin. I reached for my net. The moth for which I had waited twenty years was mine.
Note: People in Geneva would bring Gene moths, caterpillars and birds. She would pay them for their efforts.