Saturday, 18 September 2010

Simple but smart

Cold nights have properly set in. The concomitant is that the days are wonderful, crisp initially but sunny and by the afternoon, warm. I hereby declare May and September the new June and July. Something has happened to the latter months, and it isn't good.

Cold means fewer moths; 40 or so last night and mostly boring. But among them was this Autumnal Rustic, another member of what I consider to be the Breughel Class of moths, on account of their name. Here's an interesting thing about it: when I first started trapping in June 2008, I soon realised that for all their diversity, a very large number of moths share a basic pattern. This consists of a couple of distinct features, often kidney-shaped, on the forewing. If you scroll back to the sinister Black Rustic, you can even see them there if you look closely.

The Autumnal is notable for paring this pattern down to the essentials. I like that. Possibly through the influence of my younger architectural son, who is writing excellent stuff in Building Design these days (, I have learned to value the simple essentials of things, rather than all the encrustations and post-modern tittifying added afterwards. I also like the Autumnal Rustic because its colour reminds me of my mother's best coat which she wore the other day to the funeral of Sir Cyril Smith. That was a wonderful Northern occasion in Rochdale's fabulous town hall. Contradicting my love of simplicity, just described, I revelled in the carvings, paintings and decorations of every kind, interweaving the textile industry with the history of England. No moths, sadly. Their reputation for destroying the fine products of our cotton and woollen mills is vastly exaggerated. And think about silk.

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