Monday, 20 July 2009

Two small moths for mankind

There's a certain pleasure in recording the humdrum days in life, like seamen in Conrad with their logs: 'Weather changeable. Sea everywhere. No albatrosses.' Last night was one such. All I can offer you is a Treble Bar (left), which wouldn't leave the bottom of the trap where photography is a nightmare; and a Marbled Minor (below).

The only possible excitement is that the MM may be a Tawny Marbled Minor or even a less common Rufous Minor, because they can only be distinguished by their genitalia. But I'm opting for the standard version. There were plenty of other old familiars in the trap, but away from moths, we had tea on these special Commemorative Moon Landing Moon Eggs which as you can see, come complete with craters. You achieve this effect by putting the poaching pan lid on top of the frying pan which also has the happy effect of cooking the phlegm. Drops of condensing steam make the craters but timing is everything, unless you like moon eggs with the texture of leather.


Anonymous said...

Hi Martin, 9 a.m. and on my third beer and soon to go back to bed. I do hard work on weekends but get week days to do as I will - still wake up at sunrise - when I walk to C's tent (my long time friend who lives in a tent in the woods across from me - who owns Weasel dog - who I pick up after he leaves to work at 5 a.m.) (C has lived in this tent for three years and four months since hurricane Katrina destroyed my town -
)(the dogs Flora and Weasel)

I really wanted to talk of the ethics of animal keeping; I am now re-chickened, but instead will put it off. This morning I have watered my front and back garden, fed and watered the chickens, fed the pond goldfish, the tank fish, the sunflower feeder, scattered grain for the ground feeding birds, given medication to my dog, fed both dogs after walking to C's tent to fetch the weasel...

What is a morning to you? I am sure it is as busy but differing.

PS we are starting the dragonfly migrations. October is the Monarch migration. September the humming bird and dragon fly migrations en-mass.

MartinWainwright said...

Hi Dorry! Good to hear from you. Three beers by 9am is quite something. I'm usually into half a grapefruit and a boild egg by then. At the moment, however, my younger son (back from college briefly) and I are polishing off a bottle of Merlot and - on the subject of animal-keeping - I have just spent a fascinating ten minutes with a glass of the said wine, watching out neighbour's cat stalk a mouse. I have no time for mice; disgusting things, hopelessly romanticised by Beatrix Potter. Why is wine so expensive in the States? When we were in New Mexico in May, I was aghast at what they charged in restaurants. Tell Barack! All best M

Anonymous said...

I do like rodents although I have dispatched them in massive quantities. All my dogs were rodenters - although Flora dog is terrible at it she has the will.

I shoot rats off my porch with a pistol a couple times a week and then have the dogs scrag them and fetch them to me - and then I fling the carcass into the bayou for whomever will devour it. (I an confident that is completed within a half hour.) (When the pistol comes out the dogs begin whining with anticipation.)

What has been fascinating though is I have been in camps when a rodent plague is on. Once with rats when I lay on the ground to sleep as the million rats gnawed the wheat kernels and rustled through the stalks with a sound reminiscent of gentle waves on the beach.

Another time canoeing off shore islands in the Pacific the mice plague was in full cycle such that they swarmed over us when we tried to sleep. All night they banged stuff trying access to food. I had the food bag suspended from a rope and they would climb down it - although only the very few Einstein like ones.

My wife who has faced down knife wielding harassers was completely disconcerted. I just found it great fun.

I remember a mouse explosion in the BWCA where a mouse would climb the table every few seconds and I set the pot upside down with a twig holding it up - and 8 inches of dental floss as a pull cord in my hand to trigger it. Then a kernel of popcorn was put under the pot - and in seconds a mouse climbed the table and ran under the pot - bang and it was caught.

I used a rubber duffel bag to slide it into and reset the pot - then bang again, and bang, and soon I was satisfied with the growing numbers of mice in the bag and let them all go and went to bed in the tent with the mosquito door wide open to minimise the holes gnawed through it.

Oh I can tell rodent tales - twenty years living in camps - but I do like them. In my life I have killed so many things - from commercial fishing to life long hunting (which I do not do now) and fishing and just pest control and euthanasia - I have never killed a creature in anger although I have killed them in hecatombs.