Saturday, 11 October 2014

Pot pourri

A mixed bag today and I seem to have gone all French in my title - maybe under the influence of the lovely Merveille du Jour. A second one came today - pic below - which is great; it's good to know that they have a definite presence here rather than the lamp attracting a solitary, wandering pilgrim.

Unusually, because I usually release moths immediately, I've popped both of them in a shoebox together with a piece of oak bark - their favourite place for laying eggs - and some ivy flowers from which they sip nectar in the wild. I am now hoping that Darwinism does its stuff, though this depends on their being respectively male and female.

I was struck last night by the beauty of the trap as darkness fell and here are a couple of pictures I took - one with flash at the top of the post and one without below -  to see if you agree.

Meanwhile, I must announce the answer to my Grand Find the Second Error in the Bible competition. The winner from the millions of entrants was my good friend and adviser among commentors, Ray, who cryptically observed that the answer lay in the illustration. Indeed it does, as you can see here:

Still flitting about from subject to subject, I'm delighted to pass on news of two exceptional moths attracted by another two Commentors: the incomparable Ben Sale of Essex Moths, who has corrected my ID blunders with great patience and kindness for years, has landed that extremely rare honour of finding a new moth for the first time in the UK: an immigrant Fall Webworm (not a name I would like to have, but still. Read about it here. And Countryside Tales, as per her recent comments, has had a Clifden Nonpareil. Ooh I am jealous. Read about that here. But everything is said to come to he, or she, who waits.

Penultimately, here are some other residents of last night's eggboxes: a Satellite, a Burnished Brass, a Light Brown Apple micro (Epiphyas postvittana) and a Blair's Shoulder-knot extending a friendly paw, all above  - plus, below, a bizarre pair on the lamp flex: a slug apparently sucking the innards out of dead fly. Did the slug pounce when the fly was mesmerised by the lamp? I fear we will never know.

And finally, talking of predators, here is a Christmas card (minus snow) snap of my moths' worst enemy in the morning when I am taking pictures of them. I have no illusions about robins being dear little creatures. Still, you can't help but like them.

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