Wednesday, 14 April 2021
Friday, 26 March 2021
Sunday, 21 March 2021
My long-serving mercury vapour lightbulb went phut about three weeks ago, plunging me as well as the garden into gloom. If you go to entomological suppliers' websites, you will find dire warnings about these bulbs being phased out because of their inefficiency and wastage of resources.
So I am back in action; and that first night brought a good guest-list of predictable mid-March moths. Two of them were the March Moth itself, a species which tends to arrive in the month whose name it bears, unlike other species such as the August and September Thorns which can be promiscuous in their dates.
The second night saw the arrival of the first really attractive moth of the year, the Pine Beauty shown in my first picture. The Oak Beauty shown in my last post is a fine moth and even the Quakers and Drabs have their discreet charms, but the Pine Beauty is the sort which gives you a thrill when you see it gleaming in the egg boxes. Yes, even after all these years.
Monday, 1 March 2021
Thursday, 25 February 2021
Saturday, 20 February 2021
Sunday, 14 February 2021
Friday, 29 January 2021
It's been a while, with the weather mostly soaking or freezing, but I'm putting the trap out tonight to celebrate today's reports of the role of moths in fighting the pandemic. This is a specialised subject and not a field in which you want a scrap of misleading information, but detailed reports on the Novavax vaccine explain things - for example this one in the US magazine Science from which the diagram above also comes. Thank you!
The method actually goes back a long way, as the article explains, and here's hoping that the apparent good news from the vaccine trials continues. But that apart, it is a reminder of how important all forms of studying the world in depth and detail can be. So let's hear it (again) for moths! And I very much hope that you and yours are safe, well and in good heart.
Thursday, 10 December 2020
Monday, 30 November 2020
A couple of much milder nights have shown that moths may only be around in limited numbers so far as species are concerned but within each species, the guest-list can still be healthy. Yesterday, for example, no fewer than 13 December Moths paid me a call, nine inside the light-trap and four on the wall of the house nearby.
Here they are in various poses, one of them displaying the fine 'TV aerial' antennae which are as much a feature of the species as its lovely fur coat. Usually moths unfold their antennae when I tickle or otherwise disturb them, but this chap was already on the qui vive.
Meanwhile, our porch light is acting as a minor moth trap, particularly where Winter Moths are concerned. Checking outside lights is always an interesting diversion which anyone can do, as Conehead notes in commenting on my last post. A useful extra is when a window is involved, as you can photograph the moth from both sides (provided your windows are reasonably clean).
My last moths are a pair of Winters, this time on the wall along with the quartet of Decembers.
Elsewhere in the natural world, our many squirrels are foraging energetically at the moment; and we used up our last nasturtium flowers by stuffing them with goats' cheese, anchovy essence and capers. Yum!