Saturday, 10 August 2013

Who's looking at you, kid?

Who wouldn't return the apparent grin of this Spectacle Moth which celebrated the second leg of UK Moth Night by visiting the trap last night? It arrived with a small party of newcomers so far as our new home in Oxfordshire is concerned, although a couple of them were occasional overnighters in Leeds.

The vivid one above, which chose its eggbox with a skilled eye to camouflage, is a large female Rosy Rustic. Its small husband, or at least a male, follows straight after like one of those little gents in a Bamforth's seaside postcard.

Rosy Rustic is one of my favourite moth names because of its other connotations; indeed when I first featured one in Leeds, I added an old painting of a cheery farmer from times gone by. This time, here's a typical seaside card with thanks to the excellent Bamforth website.

The cards were made in Holmfirth in the Yorkshire Pennines, which are also home - in the nearby town of Marsden  - to the Mikron theatre company which has taken its plays round the canal network in a narrowboat for 42 years. We went to the pub last night for this year's ace offering Don't Shoot the Messenger, a very funny (and informative) play about the Post Office. 

Cheers! Mikron's narrowboat gets ready for last night's show. Note courgettes on roof.

If you're anywhere near Oxford, it's on at the Jolly Boatman near Thrupp tonight and the Rock of Gibraltar at Enslow tomorrow. The weblink above has other venues and dates.

Talking of theatre, this little moth proved a drama queen this morning, scuttling off from its eggbox just as I aligned the camera. I then stalked it to six different leaves on the hawthorn hedge nearby, each time missing the shot. Finally, I got one from underneath which wasn't good enough for my identification skills, although the moth has what looks to me entertainingly like a 'Nerr, nerr, can't get me' expression; and then, on the eighth attempt, I managed to snap it. It's an Oblique Carpet.

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