Sunday, 7 July 2013

Beautifully official

When I commented three posts ago, under the heading 'Officially beautiful', that only ten UK moths had the prefix 'beautiful' in their names, I forgot to add that many more have the word 'beauty' as a suffix.  By way of reprimand, one of the most interesting, the Lilac Beauty, has flown into the trap to teach me a lesson.

Apart from its delicate little lilac markings, it has the distinction of an exceptionally unusual way of resting, with the leading edge of its forewings creased and tilted up, as shown in the second two pictures. As my Moth Bible says, this makes it instantly recognisable and thus dear to my moth-identification-challenged heart. It isn't that common, which adds to its appeal.

I have always liked the purplish spectrum as you can see from this picture below, taken in yesterday's sunshine by my younger son, of one of my Uniqlo cardigans. I am seldom to be seen in it in public, sadly, because Penny says it makes me look like an elderly lady. I have included a famous elderly lady in the picture because her tin of Diamond Jubilee shortbread is a lilacy colour too. It was delicious as well as being a bargain, as you can see from the sticker.

Novak Djokovic is sponsored by Uniqlo, which inclines me towards him unpatriotically in today's Wimbledon final. While watching that, I will try to identify this pretty little Carpet (Common, I think) moth below and the micro in the last picture. I'm very pleased with the way that the red of Penny's gardening kneeler goes with not only the micro but two bright glimmers of Birdseye Speedwell, which suggest a blue-eyed ghostie watching from within our lawn.

Is it Dioryctria abietella, or conceivably D. sylvestrella? Goodness, I am quick off the mark today


sarah meredith said...

Noting the date at the bottom of my computer, I realize that today would be my father's 106th birthday, were he alive, (he was born on the lucky 7/7/07) and it is also the 80th birthday of my cousin Rosalee's esteemed husband David McCullough. He and my father were great pals and once or twice celebrated their days together on Martha's Vineyard. But that is not why I am commenting. I want to say thanks for the mentions on your blog. We were so pleased to have our pictures displayed so prominently and were only wishing that you could have been here at the farm for this particularly mothy 4th of July weekend! It must have been the combination of heat, humidity and the fact that our window screens are old and warped because at night when we have turned on the lights in the house, we have been overrun with moths both big and small. I guess they flew back out the gaps when we went to sleep, because they are nowhere to be found this morning. xxs

jps said...

A lilac beauty would look quite fetching on one of Homer's violet sheep, don't you think?

MartinWainwright said...

Hi Both

Sarah - happy commemorations and great memories and I'm very glad that the moths surged into the Meredith residence, like so many Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution. Who needs a moth trap when your whole house is one? (But good luck in your search if you are still thinking that way). The weather here in England is unbelievable; summer days which children will remember forever, so that it 2063 they can grumble about "never having summers like we used to when we were young"

jps - what a fascinating website and how amazing that Homer never mentioned blue, even though the sea plays such a part in his work. I have often rambled on here about the rarity of blue in moths as opposed to butterflies and am sure that it has something to do with their flying at night. Maybe Homer wrote at night...

All warm wishes