Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Dryza Bone

The trap has survived a filthy night in remarkably good and dry shape, thanks to the practical nature of Mrs W (and the oft-mentioned design talents of its inventors, Mr and Mrs Robinson. Even so, I wasn't expecting many inhabitants, if any, following the heavy rain and actual storms which have drifted lazily northwards over us for the last twelve hours.

So it was a pleasant surprise to find this impressively large Wainscot which is indeed a Large Wainscot, a name deserved by a moth which on a first brief glance is big enough to be mistaken for the pale, buttery form of the Large Yellow Underwing. I was keen to see as much of it as possible and after a flash of its darkly-striped abdomen, I teased it to wakefulness from its initial slumbers (left) to get the fuller picture at the top of this post.

Otherwise there was little on the guest list apart from a male Feathered Thorn, a Green-brindled Crescent and various Chestnut-y things; but it was worth letting the light burn, as in this excellent Moody and Sankey hymn which you can sing along to by clicking the link. I always like the metaphor of the Cleveland ferry. If you get carried away, you can check out the Johnny Cash version here though it comes with a major sentimentality alert.

The dryness of the trap also tells an interesting tale about the efficiency of trees in keeping us and wildlife dry, a question I ponder on wild nights. I had put the lamp on the vegetable patch but when thunder and lightning erupted at around 8pm, I turned it off and was going to abandon ship. That was when Penny said: 'Why not move it to under the walnut tree?' which is what I did. I should have thought of it myself because once, when I was doing the Coast to Coast Walk, I was caught in torrential rain and sought shelter in a fir tree plantation. I stayed as dry as a bone.

My pencil scale, incidentally, is appropriately entomological although I've no idea where we got it from. It says Pentech and then has little squiggly drawings of assorted insects,. In the penultimate pic, you can make out a ladybird under the Large Wainscot's lower body and tail.

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