Wednesday, 16 June 2010
A good omen yesterday, with the damsel fly. Now here's another. I thought a hairstreak was visiting the garden when I saw a small, dark insect fluttering about on the clover covering our disgracefully unkempt lawn. We had a White-letter Hairstreak two years ago and there are Green Hairstreaks on Otley Chevin not far away. I'd like to see one again. But no, this is a Chimney Sweeper, an intriguing little moth which likes flying in the day. That's unusual for moths, but the Sweeper takes the habit a step further. It particularly likes bright sunshine, which we have also been enjoying, at last.
Sweeps bring luck, allegedly. I met one in Leeds who reckoned to earn almost as much from appearing at weddings as he did from cleaning flues. You can see why the moth is named after them, sooty black apart those two delicate trims of white on its forewings. I wonder why they are there. I also wonder if more moths are tempted out by day at this time of the year when the nights are so short. I saw several Carpets fluttering about yesterday afternoon and a Silver Y jitterbugged off when - prompted by the Chimney Sweeper - I at last mowed the lawn.