Friday, 5 August 2011
Penny and I are big fans of the Guardian's Quick Crossword, but although it's reckoned a doddle by experts, it usually takes both of us to complete it. Guess who got Two Down yesterday..?
Actually, it was Penny. I then managed to fill in 'rooftop' for the clue across, which was about the lowest possible way to fly. I guess that also applies to moths. In my musings on the Peacock yesterday, I forgot to say that its careful navigation only went haywire when it got near to the room's central lights, which were on. As often mentioned on this blog before, the reason for insects' 'attraction' to light is still a puzzle, but from my (very amateur) observations, I'm sure it more of a disorientation than an attraction. The Peacock started jinking all over the place, before dropping well below the lights and the resuming its normal calm progress. Mind you, human attraction can have a similar effect, in my experience, so I guess the jury stays out.
It is the same with the moth trap. The next picture isn't very illuminating - ha! - but that spun sugar pattern just above the light is about a thousand small flies. Occasionally a larger speck of light, ie a moth, hurtles through them into the trap, or sometimes back off into the darkness. The movements are never smooth or deliberate but have all the look of an aeroplane out of control.
We'd better have a picture of a moth. Here are two. A Riband Wave and a Mother of Pearl micro trying to communicate on either side of the trap's plastic shield. There were about 150 other moths dozing in the eggboxes, overwhelmingly types of Yellow Underwing, Dark Arches and other worthy but unexciting souls.