Saturday, 22 October 2011

Goodnight, sweet prince (and princess, and everyone)

I said yesterday that the trap's solitary Yellow-line Quaker might have a special distinction, but I am afraid that it hasn't. What I had in mind was that for all its modesty, it looked like being the Last Moth On the Blog This Year.

Nope. It got warmer last night and was clearly going to be dry and so I lit the lamp once again and Lo!, the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, or at any rate the moths, turned out in force. Loveliest among them was the Feathered Thorn, above, closely followed by a Blair's Shoulder-knot, below, and these two little carpets, Red-green and Spruce I am fairly sure, on the left.

But that is it, for now. See you next year (although, as in 2009-10, I may have the occasional sesh in the winter months). Thanks for all the comments, wisdom and many, many corrections. I do this for my own weird pleasure, but this year I discovered Blogspot's 'Stats' and was astonished and delighted at the range of countries from which people have fluttered on to this site: Mongolia, Argentina, South Korea, Ukraine, Iran. Truly the world-wide web, and if we can all unite in a common interest in moths, hooray. Here's another pic of the Feathered Thorn to help that process on.

Talking of which, I will leave you with a Thought about Why moths rather than butterflies, whose beauty is obvious and irresistible and comes without the worries about hairiness, night-flying and crawling into ears which wrongly attach to moths. Thanks to Penny's recent laundry of our nice, bright Sri Lankan napkins, I herewith present it in picture form.

First, here is how people see butterflies:

Second, here is how most people see moths:

Third, here is how moths really are, when you take the time and trouble to get to know them:

Subtle, pastel shades worthy of Laura Ashley, eh? Or the paintings of my talented American pal, Sarah Meredith.

Farewell for now, then. Happy Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Eid and everything else, and see you in April.


Bennyboymothman said...

Hi Martin, I see you are signing off for the year...not a bad decision at all, although it looks like it maybe mild tonight here at 9 possibly 10c night-time temperatures. It was 2c here last night and a light frost and must have been warmer where you are then!
I myself haven't trapped since the 13th (report to follow) so will be nice to go all out with 2 traps tonight and maybe persuade a Dotted Chestnut or Dark Chestnut to attend the trap, both species I have difficulty with.
All the best now.

sarah meredith said...

Hi Martin - it has happened once again. I always get misty each year when you sign off, but this year's post - with the marvelous visual, not to mention a lovely nod to me - was almost sob-worthy! Apart from Greg's and my daily enjoyment of your writing, this blog has really given me a whole new world of things to look at and take pleasure in! I honestly never even noticed moths before you started this - but they are everywhere and when I get close enough to see their markings, I find it every bit as satisfying as seeing an unusual bird or a beautiful landscape or, for that matter, a great painting in real life. So another big annual thank you - and love to you both! xxs

Stewart said...

Goodnight Martin, dont be a stranger... :)

MartinWainwright said...

Hi all - thanks ever so - Ben, I don't know where I would have been without your expertise. I shall keep checking out your blog and I hope those Chestnuts seek you out. It's just too dark in the mornings now, for me, and though the clocks go back shortly, I'm happy to give the moths a winter break. Thanks very much indeed, again, and look forward to more dealings afterApril.

Sarah, hooray! I'm so glad you and Greg enjoy the moths, just as Penny and I enjoy your blogs It's a great way of keeping in touch too. Maybe one day we will find out how to train moths to carry messages across the Atlantic strapped to their legs. But the internet does nicely for now. x to all M - and P

Stewart - thanks for your help too, much appreciated, keeps me on my toes, or antennae or whatever.

'Til next year then,

warmest wishes


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Mmmm Thanks for those fascinating carpet facts. Must have come through some inspired Googling of the word 'carpet' which is bound to bring up a reference to moths eventually...

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Jane said...

I have very much enjoyed you blog and have learned so much about moth idenfification from it. Thanks for sharing all the lovely creatures you found this year, so many wonderful and beautiful ones to choose from. Have a wonderful winter.