A handsome new arrival in the trap this morning as operations resumed post-Penny's birthday: a Leopard Moth, which is common in most of the UK although I haven't seen one before. It's much smaller than the Puss Moth but shares the latter's op-art patterning, although with more of a nod to everyone's favourite animal, the Panda, than the Leopard. In my view, anyway.
Whoever we nod to, the Leopard was deep in the Land of Nod this morning, like most of the bigger moths which arrive here. It remained undisturbed either by me or by an intrepid beetle which ambled along its back from head to tail while I was taking photographs.
|Leaving the head...|
|...and reaching the tail. Is this a day return? No, the about-turn is the result of my snapping the moth from the other side|
The Leopard isn't everyone's favourite, however. It can appear in very large numbers in fruit-growing areas where its caterpillars may be ranked a pest. Update: Penny has woken up now, aided by my early morning tea service, and suggests it should be renamed the Dalmatian Moth.
I was sent this picture of a Leopard Moth on a balcony in Spain two years ago by a reader, J-P Stacey, and in my bumbling way initially identified it as a Puss Moth. I must be honest and admit that the Puss Moth page in Waring, Townsend & Lewington was the first I turned to this morning but only because I wondered if this moth was one of the PM's smaller relatives, the Kitten moths. I am learning, see. Slowly.
My title comes from the famous book by Tomasi di Lampedusa which is well worth reading in spite of its maybe intimidating status as a literary classic. This is especially the case if you have had the good fortune to visit Sicily. A propos of that, our scorching weather in the UK at the moment is increasingly giving the country a Sicilian look - the usually green grass turning the colour of honey and everyone drowsily slowing down.
In conclusion, here is a real Leopard for you to ponder the comparison. It comes courtesy of an interesting website on dream interpretation which has this to say, should you ever dream about leopards:
I looked for an explanation about a moth dream (something I've never had, so far as I know) but there wasn't one. However, here is the explanation if butterflies appear in your mind at night, to end on a cheerful note: