Saturday, 10 September 2011

A la recherche de moths perdu (Vol VII)

Drizzle and a plague of wasps affect the trap, which anyway has little of joy other than some fine Copper Underwings. But who cares, because I have a little more French material to keep me typing happily away.

This Small Copper is actually my last holiday butterfly, but I saw it in an interesting place: a museum of gourds at the hamlet of L'epalourdie near Bussac, a few miles from Perigueux, which we visited on our last day,in that slightly desperate way you do when you've got a few hours before the 'plane home. Le Jardin de Calebasse et Cie is run by an excellently enthusiastic artisan cougourdonnier who told us about Haiti's gourde currency and the way that calabashes were used as armbands when sea-swimming was first introduced at Biarritz.

He also showed us this calabash which flowers at night - and is therefore pollinated by...MOTHS! You can read his explanation board below, because in my excitement I took a picture of it. I was very pleased to discover this fact and will hope to find out more; I think that moths and other 'insectes nocturnes' as the cougourdonnier calls them, play a part in pollinating Nicotiana, Tobacco plants, which are so sweetly-scented at dusk. But I am not yet sure of my facts.


Calogero said...

Very nice flower, thanks.

MartinWainwright said...

Many thanks! i must admit, I was more attracted by the flower than the butterfly, smart though Small Coppers are. warm wishes, M