Friday, 30 September 2011

Willowy and rosy

This comes to you late at night from the Doncaster-Leeds flyer, the last stage of an epic journey which has included a marvellous spell in and around Peterborough with George Barker, a titan of urban wildlife enthusiasm in the UK, and then a trip on a 'bat punt' in Cambridge with that city's excellent batman, Iain Webb. All will be explained in due course.

Iain and the punt poler Nick Ross-Lewin were chatting as we glided along in the dusk about what they called the 'arms race' between radar stealth weapons employed by both bats, the hunters, and moths, their prey. Here from last night's trap catch is what looks like a powerful weapon in that fight, the delicate set of antennae on a Willow Beauty.

Here's the same moth seen from above, accompanied by one of the snails which fearlessly ascend our garden furniture and sometimes even the house. Also dozing away was this very pleasant Rosy Rustic, unaware how close it was to a wasp - fortunately equally dopey. But now we are passing Elland Road, so I must post, shut down, unplug, go home and sleep. Night night.

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