One of the pleasures of running a moth trap is the chance which it gives to spread the word about this largely unseen part of UK wildlife. Newcomers to the subject are invariably astonished by the range, interest and colour of my small, nocturnal visitors. In turn, they pass on the news.
My latest victim has been our excellent postman Michael who has chatted to me on occasion about the eerie glow which he sees occasionally in the winter months, or the curious bowl-with-a-bulb which is often on the lawn on lighter mornings. This week, we finally had the chance to look at a few captures. The mail must get through on time, but Michael built in a few extra minutes to have a quick look.
I was very much hoping that the moths would oblige with something impressive and they came up trumps. Two fine-looking Poplar Hawks were examined by Michael and in turn examined him and his van. It was another small episode in the very interesting life of a postman about which I hope that he one day writes a book. There is seldom the time for a prolonged conversation but I have learned enough about his experiences - getting emergency aid for a haemophiliac badly cut in an accident at home, spotting an electrical fire in flats at its early stages - to see how valuable these eyes and ears in our daily surroundings are, quite apart from the remarkable job of getting our post too and fro so quickly and efficiently.
The same applies to milkmen and women, a job I have always rather fancied because I like getting up early. Even in the limited realm of your own house or street, it is fascinating what you get to see when few if anyone else is around. Including, of course, moths.
Keeping your eyes open for the unexpected at all times is good advice, as my final picture shows. In search of salad, I noticed this caterpillar on home-grown cauliflower florets in our fridge. It thus escaped adding a tiny tang to one of my signature dishes, cauliflower cheese. I am afraid that I do not know wat it is, but I will check out the Moth Bible and put 'cauliflower' and 'caterpillar' into Google.