Saturday, 9 July 2011

Not a lot about moths

I usually spend time here bewailing my inability to identify small brown and/or grey moths. There'll be another example in a mo. But first, here's some triumphant identifying of human beings, including myself when young. Even though we're grey too, or at least black and white.

I think I mentioned some time back that a flurry of nostalgia among my old university pals has led to much emailing of photos, mostly of elderly gents (we were all boys in 1968; the girls had to climb in), but including the original of the blurred one I use in the little blog corner about who I am (or was).

This coincided with one of the regular outbreaks of 'Oxbridge mafia' charges at The Guardian which always get some readers excited about a supposedly contraband list of members, including my innocent self. There's no secret about any of it. For better or worse, I was at Merton College, Oxford, in the good old revolutionary days and here we all are: my fresh-faced year in 1968.

I'm the saucy one three from the left in the front row, looking as though I'm enjoying a private joke with a moth. But more interesting is the guy with the Beatle cut two rows back from me, two from the right. That's Sir Alec Jeffreys who has done more good than the rest of us put together, through his work on DNA fingerprinting. The chunky guy to his left is Chris Laidlaw, then a New Zealand All-Black who I see from his Wikipedia entry is keeping the spirit of '68 alive, huzza.

When we all exchanged emails with pics of us as old giffers, Sir Alec apologised that his had the curious catchline 'stamp' - left over from an initiative by the Royal Mail which sadly apparently has to wait until he is in Heaven. Personally, I say: 'We demand a commemorative stamp for Sir Alec Jeffreys now!' And now, before I go and have my breakfast, here is yet another mystery moth, below. Does anyone know what it is? A Snout of some kind? A Fantail type? And does it really have a green sheen, or is it picking that up from the eggbox? I just clicked on it to enlarge it, btw, and notice that half of its left-hand antenna is missing. Poor thing. Update: Ah-ha, Gotcha! See Comments.


MartinWainwright said...

Good, I win. Or rather Charlie Fletcher, the West Yorkshire county moth recorder does. He had one of these in his trap last night and it's a micro called Udea prunalis. Mighty fond of Blackthorn or Sloe - Prunus spinosa, hence the little creature's name.

sarah meredith said...

Hi Martin - What a cute picture! The thing that is most striking to me is how much I see of both your boys in your youthful face! xx to you and P

MartinWainwright said...

Hi there S!

It all seems so long ago...

No, no, that isn't true really. I feel just as young as I looked then. I'll tell the boys - funnily enough I see lots of P in them too.