Friday, 9 June 2017

Liberal Moths, huzza!

Hooray! Let's start the day with some Liberal Democrat moths to celebrate the party's increase - small, but little acorns... - and the influence which it may be able to wield in a balanced Parliament with no overall majority for either of the Big Boys/Girls. It is a shame to lose Nick Clegg and Greg Mulholland but great to welcome back Vince Cable, Jo Swinson and others and to see the party win more than two million votes. There are great opportunities and perhaps the foolishness of wanting to leave the EU will become clearer. Roll on by-elections!

More welcome orange and yellow in my second picture, courtesy of Michael Robinson, a fellow-guest at the weekend birthday party in Suffolk who kindly recorded the moth-related goings-on with a better camera and steadier hand than my own. He has kindly agreed to my showing some of the results. Trapping restarted here at home last night, when the weather finally decided to turn dry and less cold, but in the meanwhile here is a small Robinson Supplement to my Suffolk moths. I wonder if Michael is related to the inventor of the Robinson trap? I forgot to ask him.

He was certainly interested in it and captured the magic but short-lived moment when the mercury vapour bulb flickers into action and shines with an eerie pink. This soon gives way to a cold, slightly blueish light of great intensity. The idea that enthusiasts and interested outsiders can sit round a trap in the evening and watch the moths zig-zag in is a non-starter so far as I am concerned. Dark glasses would be essential. As it is, many people cannot use Robinson traps because of the effect on neighbours, although the less powerful actinic traps provide a substitute.

The morning after is another matter, so far as 'social mothing' is concerned, as the eggboxes are examined as in the top picture on this post and people gather round to examine the catch. If you look closely, you will see that the joy of having a large moth perching on your hand is by no means confined to small people such as my grandchildren. Here is that phenomenon in close-up:

The 90-year-old Birthday King, in whose honour the weekend was held, was especially pleased. Here, meanwhile, are Michael's studies of a Buff Ermine, a Swallow Prominent, the Poplar Hawk after release and a Setaceous (meaning 'bristly' but, as I have often asked, why?) Hebrew Character.

And finally a Light Emerald and that most excellent moth, the Burnished Brass, to round things off. Many thanks, Mike.

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