“A Fleeting Existance”

original abstract oil pastel painting "A Fleeting Existance" by Paula Boss

11″x 15″ Oil Pastel on Cartier Magnani 300lb Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper

Late one morning during the summer of 2008, my sister Carole came upstairs to tell me that there was a huge butterfly resting on the side of our house beside the light next to my front door. She had spotted the butterfly when she had taken her little Yorkshire Terrier, “Maggie” out for her morning pee. I carefully opened the front door and peeked my head out to take a look and the butterfly didn’t move. It was huge, with a wing span of at least 6 inches. With camera in hand I headed out onto the deck to see if I could get a few photographs of it. The butterfly didn’t fly away and I was able to photograph it at my leisure. Now the funny thing is, the butterfly didn’t fly away… at all! It stayed all day and was still there the next morning and the morning after that.

On Vancouver Island in Victoria there is a tourist attraction called the, “Butterfly Garden”. I’m thinking that this butterfly must have escaped somehow, so I rang them up to tell them about this beautiful huge butterfly. They informed me that it wasn’t theirs and they suspected that it was not a butterfly at all but a moth that is known to inhabit the region. So onto the internet I go to find out more about our unexpected but welcome visitor.

Turns out that it was indeed a moth, a Cecropia Moth. The largest moth in North America. An interesting fact about the Cecropia Moth is that once it has hatched from its cocoon as an adult, it can’t eat and only has a two week life span. Its only purpose it to mate and lay eggs. They are a nocturnal moth, flying only at night but as all moths are, they are drawn to light. So once my sister and I learnt these facts, we figured that the moth had stayed because I always left the light on by my front door just in case her little dog Maggie needed to go outside in the middle of the night. We turned the light off the next night, feeling bad that this beautiful moth had wasted 3 days of it’s fleeting existence hanging around our place and were happy to find it gone the next morning.

And…once again, I made a spelling error when signing the back of the painting. I misspelt the word, “existence” and once again I left it as I signed it…just because.