Monday, 18 August 2014

Creepy Crawly time

It's awful to use the word 'autumnal' for the weather this early in the year but nonetheless, there is that feel around of colder evenings, berries and russety leaves, bonfire smoke due to start coiling up any time. In the circumstances my trapping enthusiasm has been slightly chilled and the moths are having a rest. It seems a timely moment to look at some of the other visitors attracted by the lamp in recent weeks.

Over the years I have found bugs, beetles, spiders, the odd butterfly and even a couple of birds among the eggboxes and wise commenters have been excellent at identifying what the smaller bretheren and sisters are. I'm all at sea about this selection but much approved of a quote about beetles from Alfred Russel Wallace at the little exhibition in Woodstock which I mentioned the other day. I can't lay my hands on it just now but his enthusiasm for them is all over the internet and he collected more than 83,000 different ones from the Malay Archipelago and elsewhere during his long and fascinating life.

Our greatest writer acknowledges them too, giving Isabella in Measure for Measure the lines:

The sense of death is most in apprehension;
And the poor beetle, that we tread upon,
In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great
As when a giant dies.

On which lofty note I must leave you, to go shopping.

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