But what matter? Because a much healthier option is to get out and dig the garden; and while doing so, keep a weather eye out for characters such as the caterpillar above. He or she is the larva of that extremely everyday moth, the Large Yellow Underwing. But I have never seen one before, in all my 65 years, and so the encounter gave me pleasure.
|Pupae and catties from Richard South's|
famous UK moths book which is now online here thanks to Wikisources
Hence the digging tip, which is also the subject of an entire small booklet, 'Pupa Digging', by the Rev Joseph Greene. One of those 18th century vicars who spent much time on natural history, his enthusiasm for this particular branch of entomology has never been publicly equalled, nor his knowledge and mastery of technique.
All I can add is: dig carefully. Remember last year's wonderful discovery in Kirtlington by Chris Powle's family, who unearthed two Death's Head Hawk moth pupae in their spud plot after finding one of the species' vivid yellow caterpillars marching across their lawn. Good gardening, and good hunting! My cattie, btw, has just been released in a nice patch of crumbly soil, so good luck to it as well.