Thursday, 12 May 2011

Back in action

Since I've written recently about Shandy Hall and Laurence Sterne, it seems appropriate to start this post with the illustration, left. It represents the fact that my trap bulb went phut the other day which had the same effect on my life as the events which led to the famous 'black page' did on Tristram Shandy's. But all is joy now. Watkins and Doncaster speedily sent me a replacement, plus a bit more flex which I hope to use to extend my hunting. And this morning I was nicely rewarded.

This fine beast is a Pale Tussock, expected round about now in the reliable, train timetable way of the UK's seasonal moths, but still enough to make me exclaim with pleasure when I saw him (or maybe her) perched in that characteristic attitude. Attitude is something which this moth has in spades, in addition to abundant and lovely hair. And those britches! They remind me of the old Yorkshire rhyme:

Anne Boleyn had no britches to wear
So King got a sheepskin and made 'er a pair
Leather side out and woolly side in
Eeeh, it were warm in summer for Anne Boleyn

The Pale Tussock has the sense to wear them woolly side out, the comfier way round.

It was slumbering alongside a Swallow Prominent and a Buff Ermine so it was a night of handsome arivals. There was also a smattering of carpetty moths which I will settle down and try to identify, but it's gone a bit chillier and alas my lamp was not burning during the lovely, warm, mothy nights of the weekend. Like the lower lights of Cleveland harbour which inspired Philip Bliss's hymn...

Today is my and Penny's 32nd wedding anniversary, so thanks to the Pale Tussock for arriving on that too. Here is a mega-yucky picture but I thought we could pretend that the person behind the devoted duo was a moth.


Bennyboymothman said...

Hi Martin, Those Pale Tussock's are very furry aren't they! I had a handful last night, turned the traps off and then shook the sheet, everything flew of or dropped off, apart from 5 Pale Tussock's! all still clinging to the cotton sheet.
Coaxing them onto a pen seeemed to make them budge though.
Really enjoyed listening to your radio article.

Iain Chambers said...

Martin, belated congrats to you and Penny on your wedding anniversary!

Love the Pale Tussock pictures - fine breeches indeed...

Anonymous said...

Hi Iain - thanks ever so. And tomorrow is MY BIRTHDAY!

The trap is lit...

Jane said...

hi martin, happy anniversary and happy birthday, I love your blog and of course moths. I wondered how you managed to photograph so many moths and all was revealed to me when you mentioned your moth trap. Isn't the world full of so many handy yokes. I know nothing about moth traps and was wondering if all the moths that are trapped survive their experiences intact?