Friday, 11 September 2015

Peculiar preparations

National Moth Night(s) is/are under way. One night down, two to go. I am entering enthusiastically into the spirit of things as these pictures of my curious preparations demonstrate, I hope.

The organisers of the great event, those excellent organisations Atropos and Butterfly Conservation, are focussing this year on the use of old-fashioned moth lures, which is why I have been rootling in our store cupboard for treacle and unwanted beer. In my younger days, the mixture for creating a 'false nectar' was rum-and-treacle but rum comes expensive. Moth Night recommends dark ale instead, and we have an ancient bottle of that, brought by a well-meaning guest.

I was more reluctant to sacrifice the remains of a bottle of Merlot, but the other catching device is a 'wine rope' which didn't exist in the 1960s when I discovered rum-and-treacling. Dutifully, I mixed it with some sugar and dunked a length of muslin in it. The beer-and-treacle - plus Demerara sugar - I painted on to several trees and shrubs.

The result? I will reveal all in the next post. But as well as these esoteric temptations for moths, I have run the good old light trap as usual.

My own invention: crushed, rotting plums. Purple Emperor butterflies and the dazzling Morpho blue butterflies of Brazil make a beeline for decaying fruit

For now, I hope you will rejoice in my rare 'trick or Treacle' tin. One day, I hope to sell it to a collector to underpin my pension.

The light trap: human view

Moth view

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