Sunday, 25 August 2013

Slow, slow, quick-quick, sloe

Things are slow and so here is an appropriate fruit: sloe berries bulging along our favourite walk which we plan to raid before anyone else gets to them. Then you prick them with a pin and have a session making sloe gin, after which moth identification becomes harder still.

Everyone is enjoying fruit at the moment, viz these wasps. When I was a boy we used to stamp on dozens of them as they lay gorged or drunk on rotting apples in the cider orchards of Herefordshire. I've just replied to GF's comment on yesterday's post about the wonderful honey scents currently wafting over the North York Moors. I can still smell the apple-y air below the Malvern Hills too.

Nothing much to report from the trap in the cooler, duller and damper weather but here are a few of its inhabitants, plus a Speckled Wood butterfly encountered on the sloe march and a lovely little beetle which my trembly hands and the breeze have turned into an Andrew Marvell-like green thought in a green shade. Update: inspired by Ray in Comments I have nailed this as the Green Dock Beetle (and it was on a dock plant), Gastrophysa viridula.  I also mentioned in yesterday's Comment slot that I am pondering a way of lifting the trap into a tree without risking the bulb. Above is the sort of apparatus I have in mind with thanks to the incomparable W.Heath Robinson.

Garden Carpet

Shaded Broad-bar

A female of the Orange Swift's dark version. The male gets the bright colour

Red Twin-spot Carpet according to my lights


Countryside Tales said...

It's a wee bit early for sloes yet, those look more like Bullace or Wild Plums to me. Still delicious in gin as per the sloes though!

MartinWainwright said...

How interesting (if sad that my famed vagueness about small brown moths also extends to fruit). I will go back and have a closer look but I'm very glad to know that whichever they are, gin can be the happy result. All warmest as ever, M

Ray Walton said...

Hi Martin

Holidaying on a family farm near Oldbury on the Severn bank, so reception a little sketchy.
Whilst I have a signal, your listed non-descriptive butterfly invites me to suggest a Specled Wood and you beetle is a form of Leaf beetle.

Ray (Stokelymort)

Martin Wainwright said...

MANY thanks Ray - beyond the call of duty on holiday. Hope you are having a great time and getting the sun which has blessed us these past two days.

Inspired by your beetle interest, I have investigated and updated. Very many thanks once again

all v best