Thursday, 28 May 2009
I'm just back from a couple of days at Hay on Wye, helping to promote Guardian Books (check out books link above left, and spend, spend, spend...) It's been raining too, though the prospects look better for tonight. So here's a picture from three weeks ago of the highest butterfly I've ever met - a Field Crescent near the tramway station at 10,386ft on Mount Sandia above Albuquerque in New Mexico. I know what it is, thanks to the completely brilliant website Butterflies and Moths of North America which I mentioned a couple of days ago - www.butterfliesandmoths.org. A couple of emailed pictures, and their moth monitors for New Mexico, Paul Opler and Steve Cary, were back on to me with the details (also of the moth I posted the other day, which - yo for my faltering identification skills - is indeed a Spotted Tussock). Many thanks, guys. Ain't the modern world grand? It would have taken weeks, pre-internet to track such things down in books.
While discussing high-fliers, here's another picture taken by my son Olly of a butterfly visiting a lofty windowsill on the Royal College of Art in London - late afternoon by the length of the shadow. It obviously knew where it was going - it's a Painted Lady.
btw the Field Crescent isn't my highest-ever insect. That was a moth which was on the same flight as us from Manchester to Skiathos a few years ago.