Friday, 2 August 2013

Ja, vi elsker dette landet

The Norwegian flag - and a moth - fly over the trap last night

Dagens møll er dedikert til Norge og nordmenn, fordi jeg har nettopp oppdaget at dere kommer på tredje plass etter USA og Storbritannia i oversikten over internasjonale lesere av Martin's Moths. Er det en klubb som har oppdaget bloggen? Eller en skole? Eller kanskje noen utflyttede briter som liker å bli minnet om møllene hjemmefra?

Uansett hva som er årsaken, takk for at dere leser bloggen. Og til deres ære flagget Møllfellen for Norge i går kveld, som vist på bildet ovenfor. Dette er litt av en hyllest - fordi som eldre lesere vil vite har det norske flagget en veldig spesiell plass i den kulturelle oppdragelse av min generasjon i Storbritannia. Stakkars gamle kaptein Scott...  

What Captain Scott least wanted to see
I was going to leave it at that, but that would be a bit unfair. What the above says - in Norwegian kindly provided by my distinguished former Guardian colleague Gwladys Fouche who is now Reuters' senior correspondent in Norway - is this: 

Today's moths are dedicated to Norway and the Norwegians because I've just discovered that they come third after the UK and US in the table of international readers of Martin's Moths. Is there a club which has discovered the blog? Or a school? Or maybe some expatriate Brits who like to be reminded of the moths of home?

 Whichever, thank you for reading and in your honour the moth trap flew the flag of Norway last night, shown in the photograph above. This is quite a tribute because older readers will know that the Norwegian flag has a very particular place in the cultural upbringing of my generation in the UK. Poor old Captain Scott...

Anyway, tusen takk Norway, because last night was one of the warmest and moth-busiest of the entire year, with over 300 in the trap plus several ladybirds, a big black beetle, six wasps and an Egyptian plague of flies. I'm going to be busy for a while sorting it all out, but here are some choice new arrivals for now:

Above is a Marbled Green, a delicately tinted relative of the Marbled Beauties which have been a welcome feature of the trap for a while now. Below, a Sallow Kitten (I think, confirmation or correction very welcome), the first of the smaller-sized relatives of the mighty Puss Moth which gave me such pleasure back in June.

Now for one which caught my eye straight away and I got in a slight twist when it looked lively and seemed about to fly away. But there turned out to be five of them slumbering away. It's a Dusky Sallow, and below it on the right is one of its relatives the Bordered Sallow, a less common moth, snuggling up with a pal which is one of those familiar but confusing ones which take me a while to sort out.

These two below are, I am pretty sure, Vestals, named for the purity of their pattern and colouring after the girls who officiated at temples in ancient Rome. The moth is a visitor to the UK, arriving every year and breeding over the summer but unable to stand the cold and damp of our winters.

And finally here's one for Gladwys who has reported memorably on Edvard Munch's The Scream  including the theft of one of the paintings in 2004. It's a Star Wars-y Pebble Hooktip, and look more closely at the back of its head. 


Yes, Edvard Munch had a hand in the design of this moth...

Thanks very much again to Gwladys, her husband Truls and their toddler Magnus who doubtless lent a hand with the translation and I hope grows up to be a moth fan; and if this is being read in Norway by anyone who knows two old friends I made on a Young Liberal visit to Germany in 1971 but have lost touch with since - Harald Koht and Geir Ketil Roste - please pass on all my best wishes and those of the moths. The heading to this post, btw, is the first line of the Norwegian national anthem, and if you would like to read about a Martin's Moths-type person blogging on moths in Norway, there's an excellent one here.


Countryside Tales said...

EXTREMELY jealous of your Marbled Green, but as you've helped me ID a moth I saw the other day who has been troubling me I will let you off (dusky sallow) :-)

Martin Wainwright said...

It's a lovely moth isn't it? The ones I really want are the Merveille du Jour and the Scare MdJ. I had a friend who got them to her trap in Scarborough and I don't think they're that uncommon, but our paths haven't crossed.

Glad about the Dusky Sallow. It looks pretty distinctive but I always have trouble with that type and shape of moth and despair of improving much

All warm wishes


Countryside Tales said...

We have the same taste in moths. I'd love to see a Mdj and SMdj. BUT have just seen a hummingbird moth in the garden here feeding on the jasmine which has blown me away so I'm feeling quite happy at present on the moth score :-)

The trouble with IDing some moths is that other people's versions of them always look bang on to the ID pics whereas mine don't!

JRandSue said...

Love the Moth Trap,would love one.

Martin Wainwright said...

I sympathise very much CT!

JR&Sue - they're so good. There are lots online. Mine is a Robinson Trap, designed by a Mr & Mrs Robinson which was pleasantly unusual in the days when moth-ing was generally seen as a weird men's thing. It's expensive but very good and ultra-reliable, but people with cheaper ones have told me they're also very good. Good luck if you get one. Mind you, in this weather at this time of the year, it's worth just checking walls and shrubs etc near ordinary outside lights. Or leaving your windows open at night.

all warm wishes