Saturday, 15 August 2009

Not all bad

I've grumbled a lot about the excess of yellow underwings at the moment. They filled the trap again last night, but at least that gave me the chance for some different photography. It was a warm evening and I found a way of standing with the camera blocking the light (which is dazzling), and tried to catch moths arriving. They zig-zagged in every half minute or less, mostly yellow underwings. Trying repeatedly to catch them - because the whole process takes less than a second - I even blessed their abundance. Oooh good! Here comes another one! I was a bit alarmed at the furious way in which they dashed themselves into the trap. It bears out those who believe that moths are fazed by the light, rather than 'attracted' to it. Like spacecraft in sci-fi whose instruments have been taken over by a higher power. In this case, me. The bonus, too, is that when they are in flight, they reveal the reason for the name yellow underwing. The yellow smear in the smaller picture comes, I think, from the moth's very rapid wing movements. At rest, they look like brown sticks. You can only keep up this method of nocturnal photography for a short time. It's like the PE punishment at school where you had to stand with your arms held out in front of you, holding one of those accursed 'medicine' balls.

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