Friday, 11 July 2008

A thoughtful moth

I switched on the trap at 4.10 this morning, an all time record. I'd just got back from the David Davis byelection count and it was a chance to see if moths were still about in the final hours of the night. Dawn had chased me the 60 miles from Kirk Ella and Haltemprice Leisure Centre, but I'd caught a few moths in my headlights. However, I didn't catch any in the trap.
So what's this in the picture? Well, I mentioned the other day that yellow underwings - not a species but a range of similar moths - are now about. They are much the most abundant of the moths I catch in Leeds. But they are difficult to photograph, partly because they creep right into the eggbox cones and also because their brightly coloured underwing is nearly always hidden when they are at rest.
How obliging, then, for this Large Yellow Underwing to (a) come into our kitchen and (b) expire with a little bit of underwing showing, like a petticoat. Charles Darwin, as a boy, said that he would only collect dead animals, because he so greatly disliked killing them. But how many dead animals do you see in the wild? He had to revise his ideas. If he hadn't, we might still be waiting for the Origin of Species.

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