We met this furry creature on the mountain top on Saturday.
I think this is a Morrison's Sallow (Eupsilia morrisoni). All that hair (its thoracic pile) helps retain the moth's body heat during flight. That insulating pile helps these Noctuid moths (owlet moths of the subfamily Cuculiinae) with their amazing ability to fly on mild winter days.
Winter-flying moths like this sallow spend the winter hidden in the leaf litter. They overwinter on the ground where the temperature hovers near freezing. On mild winter days these moths can shiver to raise their body temperature in order to fly around to feed on sap leaking from tree wounds. I've seen some winter moths visiting a maple sap bucket.
I have previously posted about seeing flying moths in late November.
Read more about winter-flying moths and other amazing thermoregulation feats in Bernd Heinrich's book...