Friday, 10 October 2014

Marvellous indeed

I didn't think this season would have much more to offer me after last week's Death's Head Hawk moth excitements, but I was wrong.

Much as the skull-adorned monster awes me, my favourite moth has always been the Merveille du Jour which I never saw in Leeds but hosted for a single night a year ago.

Here he (or she) is back again, after a night so chilly that I almost had second thoughts about putting out the trap.  After examining half-a-dozen eggboxes, I thought I was going to have to be content with a trio of (very nice) Green-brindled Crescents - one below, followed by a close-ish-up of its metallic scales - and a smattering of brown and chestnutty things.

Then I saw a scrap of very different green beside a cone underneath the next eggbox and - yippee, your heart really does leap, or at least mine does - there was a Merveille du Jour. A Marvel of the Day indeed, even if it is strictly a Wonder of the Night.

You might be interested in my cack-handed photography efforts, btw, as illustrated above. I have lost my faithful little tripod Miranda and my quavering hands have meant a bit of a decline recently in whatever sharpness in pictures I previously managed to achieve. I did the Merveille twice, once at about 8.30am without the bigger tripod and then again at 10.30am. It's interesting to see how the camera 'lies' about the colour. The reality is a mostly mixture of the two although the actual colour of the moth does change depending on the light because of the nature of the cells. Mind you, my camera now lets out a little spiral of smoke after taking a flash photo, rather like those revolving, exploding ones on Kodak Instamatics, so I think its days may be numbered.

Colour at 8.30am...
...and two hours later
For scale, here's the moth again, below, with a Barred Sallow and one of the Green-brindled Crescents and I'll leave you with another Barred Sallow on Penny's red kneeler, in case by now you are a bit fed up with the colour green. Update: Sorry, that one's a Pink-barred Sallow - many thanks for the correction to Julian, a fellow enthusiast and light-trap operator just up the road whom I met at the Great Hawk Moth Fest.


Countryside Tales said...

That's next on my list. I remember last year the MDJ visited you first and came to me a week later, so now you've had yours the clock is ticking...

ps- Clifdon NP about to go up at CTales if you want a look.

Martin Wainwright said...

Good luck! Another one came this morning so I'm putting them together for a day in a shoebox in the hope that one is a boy and the other a girl...

All warm wishes