Thursday, 9 July 2009

Summer swallow

Here's one of the few moths which may be relatively familiar to everyone: the Swallow-tailed.
It comes to lighted windows after dark, like a small ghost. There are plenty around at the moment, along with the similarly pallid Light Emeralds. Both begin life with relatively strong colouring but fade very quickly, like old colour photos in an album or newsprint when exposed to light. It rained late last night but Mr and Mrs Robinson designed their trap well and the moths inside stayed dry. Plenty were about: pugs, arches and yellow underwings. And I'm afraid we also caught a mouse, whose traps are not quite so nice.


Anonymous said...

I should make a moth trap is there a link to the best way? When I lived in Houston Texas I was right on the absolutely huge central park and every night would run up the seven story car park - drink a quart of beer - and run down absolutely flying because I was a back packer and so fit. I remember it so clearly for that being my break in a 14 hour a day work.

The mad very high speed run down, and the moths and often weird fauna attracted by the night lighting. Being right against a huge hardwood wet forest they all would come out and perch next to the ceiling fluorescent fixtures.

On the roof I would have my beer looking over the canopy and then look at the luna moths, the praying mantises, all manner - and the spiders battening on them. Then run home to eat and work again the next day.

Here is my gator, he has been resident for a long time. this picture is a bit poor because the camera wants to focus on the tree - taken off my back porch.

Anonymous said...

I am dorry but forgot my password

MartinWainwright said...

Hi Dorry! Car park running - now that's a new sport! There's a very interesting car park in Bloomsbury, London, which is designed in a double helix shape, like DNA, with cars going up one spiral and down the other. Come and run it some time.

I'll check out moth trap links. The great supplier here in the UK is called Watkins & Doncaster and they have a good page on the web about the different kinds of trap, which I'm sure will be available in the States. The important tghing is to get a mercury vapour lamp. I'm SO envious of your wild life - great pic of the gator and egret. I'm going to do moths tomorrow but then there will be a masive Dorry Tribute. I have shown various friends your pic of the flooded view from your house - with the hummingbird and its red nectar (what is that?) and they are ENVIOUS Warm wishes, M

Anonymous said...

Thankyou for your kind words, here is a picture off my porch during more normal times. Weasel is as always on ratty patrol - a picture very reminiscent of piglet on the bridge playing poo sticks. Below is my sunflower seed feeder which is thronged all day with all kinds - and below that I ground scatter corn for the chickens and other birds. I am loaded with cardinals who particularly love ground scattered corn so get down with the chickens.

When the weasel spots a rat he charges down the stairs and always seems to run the wrong way - he is very dense - but he has by now killed near a hundred of them - the seed keeps a resident population of rats. He is very! efficient at the kill. He sets his front legs and shakes the rat so violently he almost vibrates across the ground. The spine and neck are separated in an instant. If he gets one in a bad grab they have to fight momentarily - he can get quite bitten about the face and squeal and try to get it off - but then it is grabbed mid body and the deed is done.

He is a sight to see with a rat!

My seed eating birds are quite tame, most are third generation at the feeder so know me.

Here is the winter scene off the porch - in winter I have a totally different bunch of birds down and the bayou is thronged with pelicans. Here is my old otter who has gone on (I just get the odd otter now - but sometimes a Huge! one)

Anonymous said...

I forgot to post weasel

Anonymous said...

"There's a very interesting car park in Bloomsbury, London, which is designed in a double helix shape, like DNA, with cars going up one spiral and down the other. Come and run it some time."

That was how the one in Houston was so it was all up to the top, the slog, than all downhill - the flying part. About 1/4 mile each way.

The red dye in the humming bird food is just what commercial sellers put in to make it seem like you are getting something for your money. My wife had brought some home and we used it. I make my own syrup and just boil 4 cups water and 1 cup sugar and cool. I go through one liter a day in the peak migration if you can imagin!

Anonymous said...

Martin, I wonder if you would ever post to my thread in GUT. I have been having threads for years that mostly I just speak alone on.

I have three years of Zoology, five years living out of a back pack, nine living in campers and camps, - lived in eight countries, 11 USA states. I want to talk of nature and the effect of observing it and interacting with but was not able to find a person who wanted to talk of the more complex issue of nature as is life.

I do enjoy my small niche in GUT where I mostly blog of the bayou - where nature is very explicit.

I would like to get back to talking of nature and its gig and would like someone to talk to but nowadays I mostly talk of my pets and work - if you did care to post on my thread I would find it a bit of fresh air and would maybe feel renewed vigor in seeing nature,

It is hard to keep fascination in simple nature when it gets the big snore from everyone. You do well with your moth site.

MartinWainwright said...

Hi again Dorry - more great pics, and how interesting that the lovely colour of the nectar is just a commercial tempter. Still, it looks extremely nice, like pomegranate juice or rose wine.

I'd love to contribute to your thread. How do I access it? Sorry to be dim, but I need help with anything internetty. I clicked on your name but couldn't get any further

warm wishes as ever


JRandSue said...

Great moths,outstanding sellection.