Thursday, 30 July 2015


A very familiar moth this morning but no apologies for that because it's a favourite. I've also photo-ed it this time from a couple of unusual angles.

The Herald has the distinction of appearing on the spine of the Moth Bible, which also accords it a rare touch of romance in the written description, suggesting with appropriately mediaeval overtones that it over winters as an adult in 'a sheltered location such as an outbuilding or cave.' It's the 'or cave' which has the Arthurian ring:

Dry clash’d his harness in the icy caves
And barren chasms, and all to left and right
The bare black cliff clang’d round him, as he based
His feet on juts of slippery crag that rang
Sharp-smitten with the dint of armed heels—        
And on a sudden, lo! the level lake,
And the long glories of the winter moon.

Remember Lord Alfred and Sir Bedivere?

The Herald is shield-shaped too and has a definitely heraldic colouring on its upper wings. Below, as you can see in my third and fourth pictures, it looks as though it has been caught in the beginnings of a small snowstorm - interesting flecks of white just starting to settle.

My headline btw is supposed to represent an heraldic salute on the trumpet. Note also my thumbs etc for scale.


Max Robinson said...

Hi Martin,

My cousin has just drawn my attention to your very interesting blog. However, I must correct your assertion from your posting of 29 July 2015 that the Robinson light trap was invented by Mr and Mrs Robinson. It was in fact invented by my father, Hugh Robinson, and his brother Peter, in the late 1940s. My mother would certainly have had nothing to do with it! My elder brother, Gaden, went on to carry forward the family's lepidpoteral tradition at the Natural History Museum where he became one of the world's leading authorities on micro-lepidoptera, small brown moths to the rest of us! Sadly he died in 2009.

Max Robinson

Martin Wainwright said...

Hi Max - many apologies, I've only just caught up with your really interesting comment. I'm sorry that I've been repeating this story for year - I can't recall where I got the original idea - but I'd be very interested to know more if you have time to email me on Meanwhile, I'll do a post putting things right and incorporating your info. I hope that you get this or pick up on the new post when it's up online and would be really pleased to hear from you.

All warm wishes and thanks for taking the trouble to write.

And to your Dad for a superb invention!

all warmest wishes