Thursday, September 09, 2010

Just in time for the New Moon!

Large view

As I write this at around 9 PM on Sept. 9, the Moon is just past New (at 4 percent of Full). About five hours earlier, Mary and I got our first in-person look at a Luna Moth.

Actias luna, Family Saturniidae (Giant Silkworm and Royal Moths). We were exiting Office Max on a rainy day. I happened to look up, spotted this individual on an overhang, and ran back to the car for my camera. I normally carry my camera with me, but didn't want to risk getting it wet.

Wingspan ranges from 7.5-10.5 cm. according to Bugguide. (From a distance I estimate this individual was around 10 cm.) The feathery antennae mean it's a male.

"Three broods in the south, March-September," says Bugguide. Adults do not feed and have a life span of only about one week, to reproduce. In the U.S., this species ranges through every state east of the Great Plains.

Here are more camera angles:

Large view

The other day I spotted this Looper Moth:

Large view

Family Noctuidae, subfamily Plusiinae. This individual was hanging out at our local strip mall in early afternoon. (I love its little head fans.) Thanks to John Himmelman at Bugguide for the ID.

In publications news...

1. A blast from the past (in more ways than one)! My four-part report of a volunteer stint I did at the University of Florida's "Tapir Challenge" dig is part of The Boneyard 2.1, a blog carnival devoted to paleontology. Host David Orr was accepting non-recent blog posts, so I sent him my material from December 2006. The carnival is chock full of links that will keep me exploring for a while.

2. PicFic, a publication of the Folded Word literary press, posted three of my Twitter fiction pieces on Labor Day, along with others written by participants in its "24/7" event. Mine include "Heisenberg's Metamorphosis," "Bittersweet," and "Fierce Harvest."

3. "Far From Free Association" appears in the open-mic section of Poets for Living Waters, a poetry action in response to the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, here.

4. More Twitter poetry appears in microcosms.

5. Two poems have been accepted to Star*Line. Although speculative, these poems are based on actual news stories. The two-part "Duet Singularity" takes it cue from Greg Miller's, "Holy Surgical Side Effect" (ScienceNOW Daily News, Feb. 10, 2010) and Stuart Hameroff, M.D.'s "Quantum computation in brain microtubules? The Penrose-Hameroff 'Orch OR' model of consciousness" and is written in free verse 3-line stanzas. "Ciliate Sestina" takes its cue from Olivia Judson's "Unorthodox" (New York Times, Feb. 9, 2010). Unlike my science sonnets, these poems extrapolate considerably from the facts. I'll give a holler when the issue comes out.

This will be a science poetry-themed issue of the Science Fiction Poetry Association journal, Star*Line, guest-edited by Robert Frazier. Bob Frazier edited Star*Line when I first discovered SFPA in 1980, and had bought my first poem submitted to the journal. "Ybba," published in 1981, and "Wings," originally in Asimov's in 1983, appeared in an anthology he edited, Burning With A Vision: Poetry of Science and the Fantastic, Owlswick Press, 1984.

6. Author Rachel D. Thompson makes this mention of Deviations on her blog from August 4: "This series is definitely not for the faint of heart (as it involves cannibalism), but it was a wonderful story, with lots of insight, as well as character and world-building."

On tap for this weekend: Deep Carnivale in Ybor City, Tampa!

Elissa Malcohn's Deviations and Other Journeys
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