Monday, 21 December 2015

Am I a moth? Or a butterfly?

The trap is a lonesome place these late December nights, in spite of the unseasonal mildness of the weather. Here is last night's only guest, a Winter Moth; but a Winter Moth which provided some interest.

Look! It is holding its wings in the 'butterfly position', vertically above its back as opposed to the official 'moth position' which has them folded over the spine. This is not uncommon among the more delicate moths, Carpets especially, but I have seldom found a moth so tenacious in holding the position as this one.

I moved it from one eggbox to another, then from one finger to another. I teased it, prodded it, sang to it - all in vain. It held its misguided stance until the moment that it took off and fluttered away into the protection of our honeysuckle. "I'm a butterfly!" I felt I could hear it saying. "I'm not a moth."

I say that the moth was alone but this was only true in terms of other moths. The eggboxes are very flyblown at the moment, diptera of all sizes and shapes squirming around in the cones. There was also this rather fine specimen, above,  perched on the rainshield. In case you are wondering about the blur in the background, that's my granddaughter's treehouse. I append a properly focussed glimpse of it to the left.


Anonymous said...

Hi Martin.

That's almost a Summer House, let alone a Treehouse!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Martin Wainwright said...

Hi there and MANY apols for delayed thanks - and a very happy New Year to you too - hope Christmas went really well. My inactivity has been caused by the said granddaughter mostly, though this has been a constant delight. Her first proper occupation of the treehouse took place over Christmas and it was all very gratifying. Her Dad who squeezed in beside her (it's not designed for adults) said that her face lit up and she announced "It's a secret den!". All warmest M