Monday, 29 October 2012

Unfair to moths

We're doing some decorating at the moment which involves pleasant sessions of looking at colour charts and wondering whether turquoise (the 'colour of the Turk') or bright orange would best lift our spirits as the drab winter months trundle by.

Or what about a colour called 'moth'?  Alas, look how the paint manufacturers cling to the old grey images that moths are all dull and, well, grey. Or brown.


Here it is a little closer.  Mind you, this range has a rather subdued feel to it, with other colours labelled Dust, Prune and Sprout - the latter looking more like Old Sprout, wouldn't you say? Below, I've found on Google a lovely selection of moths from the excellent website of the artist Lucy Arnold to whom many thanks. That's more like the sort of thing we are after.  Too late back last night to put the trap out (and we are mesmerised by the all-action world of Downton Abbey), but hope to be back in action tonight.


Katie (Nature ID) said...

Ugh, that is a drab color for its namesake. I think many people are surprised at how colorful moths can be, but many moths don't have the decency to fly during the day when we would notice them.

Say, what do you do with the moths after you trap and photograph them?

MartinWainwright said...

Hi Katie

I have to admit that when I was a boy, I killed and 'set' them, as was the habit in those days. but now I find them safe places under big shrubs like rhododendrons where the birds won't find them. You have to be careful; as the summer goes on, I get the impression that for all their 'birdbrains', the blackbirds especially start to get a notion of what I am up to and take a keen interest unless i shoo them away.

The humane state of things nowadays is all down to digital cameras. When I was young, we had hopeless (if endearing) Kodak Brownie 127s on whose film even the biggest of moths appeared as an unrecognisable blur.

All of us over here are very sorry to see what is happening on the eastern seaboard of the US, btw, and send lots of sympathy to everyone affected. We've had a lot of flooding in the UK but your weather is so huge.

All warm wishes..


Katie (Nature ID) said...

I love the increased use of digital over physical collecting. I used to be an entomologist who studied moths, but killing things in the name of science really bothered me.

I feel awful for the friends and families of those who have died and all the people who have to figure out a way to clean up and move on, both here in the U.S. and in the Caribbean. Even though the storm is on the other side of the U.S. from where I live, I think we'll see its full impact in the coming weeks and months, e.g., elections, FEMA, economy.