There were many fewer moths in the trap last night; two dozen Quakers, Drabs and Hebrew Characters compared with over 50 on average this week. So that's my contribution to data on the first volcano day, Ash Friday (if I can add to the huge outpouring of Icelandic puns and jests). It may have been the cold, of course, but one possible field worth checking is the effect, if any, of the ash cloud on moths and the moon. There was only the slenderest of sickles last night - thank you Woodlands junior school in Kent which has an excellent Moon Site online (www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/time/moon/#2) - and conceivably the ash rendered it invisible. Linking moths and the moon is not lunacy. Authorities as eminent as Prof Edmund Ford, who went up in an RAF balloon in quest of knowledge on the topic, have speculated that there may be a connection with moth navigation, and disorientation by light traps.
Today's picture is far away from this, albeit not as far as the moon. My niece Jessie has been in Borneo on a break from the iniquitous world of TV whose indie companies treat young researchers as underpaid slaves with no prospect of the commitment which I've enjoyed in my lucky life from employers. She promised to photograph butterflies, moths and bugs with her much greater skill and steadier hands than mine. Here's the first of a series, a strange little bird-like creature in a rumpled wedding gown on the hairy hand of one of Jessie's mates. I wonder if it had just hatched.
Oh, forgot to say earlier that I've relearned how to put links on the blog and have added those of Phil, Ben, Matt and other kindly experts whose own accounts are much worth reading.