Tuesday, 22 June 2010
So, as per the conclusion to yesterday's post, why isn't anything vying with us for our crop of wild strawberries? Here (above) is a helping in all its glory, before Sunday lunch with the ceremonial pond-launching relations. These are small strawberries compared with the main, supermarket kind, but they've got pretty big and I'm baffled as to why our many birds, slugs and snails are not wolfing them down. The birds Hoover up our yew berries - poisonous to humans - so I don't think it can be anything to do with the colour red acting as a Darwinian warning. And here (left) is proof that occasionally the apparent taboo is broken. I wonder if that was a particularly persevering slug. I can see that the plants' very tangled and hairy undergrowth may be an effective defence against them and snails.
In moth-land, meanwhile, here's another excuse for my hopelessness with identification. These two (above) are both Dark Arches, in spite of their different colourways. The one on the right does at least have the distinction of being a 'form' or aberration with its own extra name of 'Aethiops' - cue Romeo's first impression of Juliet: "It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night, like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear. Beauty too rich for use..."
If any reader is courting, you might like to show your beloved this moth, compare her to it and stand well back. Two further examples of why I get in such a stew with all this brownery-greyery were also in the trap last night (the year's shortest-equal with the night before): a Grey Arches (just above) and a Dusky Brocade (right).
Oh for the brighter joys of Costa Rica, where Rosie has been moth-spotting. Here (below) is another of her finds. And now to work, on Mr Osborne and the consequences of his budget.