Our screened-in back porch is probably our favorite part of the house here in My Florida Backyard. It gives us a place to sit and watch the wildlife world go by without being eaten alive by mosquitoes or drowned in the rain. In turn, the outside of the screen gives wildlife a place to hang out - lizards spend time there warming up in the sun, squirrels race across it on their way from one feeder to another, and insects rest there before heading back out into the world, like this furry brown moth we found the other day:
The world is full of PBMs - "plain brown moths", most of which are extremely difficult to identify, but the fun furry legs on this one led us to try anyway. We started at DiscoverLife.org's Moth ID guide, which allows lets you check boxes and narrow down your options, but we still got too many possibilities. We tried some Google searches for things like "furry brown moth", but again - no luck. In the end, we found it by dumb luck while browsing brown moth images. It's a Florida Fern Moth (Callopistria floridensis), whose caterpillars feed on many kinds of ferns, and its native to Florida and the tropics.
Small discoveries like this aren't exciting to everyone, but they make days in My Florida Backyard a little more fun for us. Time spent on our back porch is never time wasted!