Monday, 2 May 2011
Penny and I were watching a Sparrowhawk wheeling stylishly over our garden yesterday afternoon. This morning, the mothtrap had the year's first hawk moth. Far bigger than almost all other UK species, these still give me the thrill I first felt when I found Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillars on rosebay willowherb along the verge of Leeds ring road - exactly where John Armitage, the kindly and learned natural history curator at the City Museum, had told my brother and me to look.
Here, below, is the Lime Hawk from the side, looking more like a lobster than a moth. This is the sort of picture which can give the heebie-jeebies to those unfamiliar with moths, but that's nothing a little study of the insects and their endless fascination won't put right. If only Osama bin Laden had gone in for such things, not to mention Hitler whose death was also announced, appropriately, on May Day.