Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Empty nests

This is the poorest May for moths in my five years of trapping, and I think it's down to the cold. We had quite an abundance of arrivals in April and even March when it was by contrast unseasonably warm. This morning, the nest of eggboxes was empty and there were only these two ittle pug moths on the plastic canopy.

This contrasts with mid-May last year when such glories as a Pale Tussock and a pair of Elephant Hawks paid a visit, the latter on my birthday which as I remind everyone, is on 18 May. In 2010, however, I note that I criticised the choice of 15 May as National Moth Night on the grounds that it was so cold that the trap's 'arrivals lounge has been almost as empty as a British airport's during the Icelandic volcano's ash-spew' - you remember, the one which grounded all the flights. 

I shall go further back into my records shortly, but must now take Penny her morning tea (and mine).

Update: OK, now I've wandered round my archive, and I see that in 2009 I didn't run the trap at all between 26 April and 23 May because for quite a chunk of that time we were in California and New Mexico. And in 2008, my first year with the moth trap, I didn't get going until 11 June. So my vague feeling that May used to be much mothier is entirely the product of my imagination.

This is a good example of our tendency to think that everything was better in the good old days. By and large, it was not.  Don't expect wonders in the immediate future, meanwhile, because the forecast is of cold nights, possibly including frost.

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