Monday, 28 March 2011

Something lovely in the woodshed

Here's a coincidence, of the sort Arthur Koestler enjoyed collecting in his later years. Two days ago I featured the Herald, a favourite moth, and described how it hibernates over the winter in nooks, crannies and similar dark places.

Yesterday, I was poking around in the garage for something to use as the base of a duck house. We've got a small pond and a duck and drake have come across it and are pottering about, exactly like a young couple house-hunting. I found the remains of a worktable, crudely knocked together from bits of gash wood but still more-or-less intact and forming the frame of a square box. I lugged it into the daylight and saw...the slumbering Herald above.

It was deeply asleep, as I guess you'd have to be to survive the sort of winter we had this year. It took about an hour for its metabolism to wake up, during which I was sawing and hammering so the box was rocking about. Then off it flew.

Something else seems to be hibernating in the cocoon. Flies? Mites? Anyone got an idea? I've left it in what is now an Anneka Rice-style, done-in-a-day, duck house for our new neighbours to inspect, if they move in.


MartinWainwright said...

Hello! No I haven't gone mad, commenting on myself. Just to say that I forgot to add to the blog that over the weekend, I finally checked the beautiful Mexican butterfly featured several posts below. I couldn't use Bugguide, as recommended by my excellent commentor Banished to a Pompous Land, cos they only do US and Canadian moths, but an excellent guy called Nelson Dobbs told me that it is a Mexican Silverspot, a nice name for a lovely butterfly. His website has lots of very good pics of US and Mexican butterflies.

worm said...

surely that cocoon is going to erupt with millions of horrible spiders

Iain Chambers said...

The Herald is a beauty

And great duckhouse too! You are single-handedly restoring the duckhouse's good name after that expenses fiasco...

Banished To A Pompous Land said...

Damn it worm you're worse than my wife! There is no such thing as a horrible spider!

Now back home there arent so many beautiful spiders I know but horrible? Never!

Check these out from my yard. I'm sorry,from my garden, I'm slipping.

Green Lynx
Basilica Orb Weaver
Orchard Orb Weaver

Banished To A Pompous Land said...

Now I'm a bit annoyed with BugGuide. Someone was clearly being a jobsworth. Yes yours was photographed in Mexico...

but it is a North American species recorded in Texas And New Mexico as I suspected.

Martin said...

Hi pals

Spiders it is then. I wonder if ducks eat them. Glad to be doing my bit for defamed duckhouses too. I was going to have a floating one, like the MP, but it all seemed a bit too complicated, and possibly liner-threatening. Anyway, everything in my duckhouse was FREE! Old wood, rusty pulled out and reinserted nails, Evostick discovered in a cupboard, amazingly not solid cos I remembered to screw its lid back on ages ago.

If you have influence with Bugguided, Banished, it would be great (and logical) if they could include Mexican creatures. Meanwhile hooray for Nelson Dobbs, at least so far as butterflies are concerned.