Tuesday, 30 April 2013

DRAMATIC NEWS! The trap has moved...

Hello again, world.

Sorry that things have been a bit spasmodic in the last fortnight but there's been a reason: we've moved.

It's the culmination of a plan hatched years ago when Penny sweetly came north with me for my job, uprooting our two small boys from our cosy nest in Chiswick with nothing but enthusiasm for the adventure.  I did go down on one knee, however, or possibly two, and promised: "One day, my dear, you will return to your native land. Or somewhere quite near to it."

Now, with both the above small boys much bigger and working in London, and with my recent retirement as Northern Editor of the Guardian, that time has come. And lo, the map now illuminates not Rawdon in Leeds but our patch of Kidlington in Oxfordshire.

This is Martin's Moths, not Martin's Moves, so I won't go on. But above is a picture of the mighty pantechnicon which carried us south, and below the cave of unpacked boxes in which my Moth Bible is currently buried.

And here is the very first Kidlington moth: a familiar face, Diurnea fagella or the March Dagger, accompanied by a large beetle on my debut trapping which took place after a sunny day on a clear night with frost which you can see on the grass.

Better was to come the next night, when an assortment of Quakers and Hebrew Characters was accompanied by this very attractive visitor below.  He or she awaits my rediscovery of my Bible for identification but in the meanwhile, hey-ho for a new era. More very shortly.


David Shenton said...

Hope the move went well.

In absence of your moth bible, your moth is a Nut-tree Tussock.



Bennyboymothman said...

Wahaay, I hope you are happy where you have moved to. What is your garden like? any native trees etc? please tell (or possibly show via photos) me more :)
All the best now and happy moving...I mean mothing!

MartinWainwright said...

Dave - thanks so much. I wasn't really angling for a helping hand, promise, but at the back of my mind there were thoughts of you, Ben and my other endlessly kind helpers.

Well that's good news; I never got a Nut-tree Tussock in Leeds. Let's hope for more, even if novelty isn't everything. I wonder if we have nut trees round here; maybe the King of Spain's daughter too...

Ben - hi and many thanks too. We've a smaller garden (and slightly greater nerves about light pollution/annoyance but all well so far - very nice neighbours and enough trees to shield. It's a very interesting spot in the Cherwell valley by the Oxford canal with a lot of farmland but plenty of trees, a nature reserve nearby and other promising things. I'll sort some pics as we go along.

Thank goodness the weather is picking up too, even though it's cold o'nights

Warmest wishes and good moth-ing both!


Samuel Millar said...

Great that your new garden is producing the goods already!

"March Dagger" for DF - that's a new one on me and one I'll be definitely adopting! Can I ask where you heard that name? (I'm obsessed with moth names at the minute!)

All the best

MartinWainwright said...

hi Sam!

I well understand your name obsession - it's a fascinating subject and I keep trying in a rather vague way to get hold of a copy of a book on the subject, but at a reasonable price. I forget its name, but there is one which goes into the whole amazing range in great detail.

As for 'March Dagger', I'm afraid it comes from Wikipedia without any other usage that I've discovered; but it is a good name and although the Latin (and sometimes half-Greek, half-Latin) ones are interesting too, it's always good to have a simple English one.

All v best - hope you're sharing in this lovely weather. About time!


Samuel Millar said...

Ha yes, there are a few good names on Wikipedia, the Americans seem to be the source for some if not all of them.

We're getting some of the good weather in Nornia, saw my first Small White of the year yesterday. Not as much as the south of England though! (As always!)