Sunday, 29 June 2014

Ochre Days

There's a bit of a colour swatch to today's post, with a consistent sandy, ochreous look from the beautiful little Barred Yellow above to the hefty female Drinker below. Reminiscent of some Wimbedon matches maybe? But both delightful creatures to find in the trap which I placed in an unusual spot last night, beneath a broad-leaved tree with little in the way of nectar-rich plants around. The Barred Yellow loves roses specially. The Drinker is named for the habit of its handsome caterpillars of climbing up grass stems in the evening to sip the early dew. These larvae are beautiful creatures with coats of almost velvety blue, as different as you might imagine from the adult insect. We used to rear them at school where they abounded in nearby fields.

Continuing in more or less the same Pantone shade, a pair of Barred Straws were staggering awkwardly about, like teenagers after getting drunk for the first time.

There were plenty of other visitors but I reserve a special place for this beautiful Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, member of a tribe about whom many, including me, have been rude in the past because of the sheer numbers which often flock to traps, including mine in Leeds.  I'm specially pleased with the way it flashes its finely subtle band of blue, a colour which - again, as I have moaned frequently in the past - is too seldom seen in UK moths.

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