I am still on a butterfly high after my morning among the Adonis Blues of Yoesden Bank, about as perfect an expedition as I have experienced. But my life in the insect world continues to be varied and it's excellent having the iPhone camera with me wherever I go.
I always try to capture the iridescence of Mother-of-Pearl micros, which are very frequent in the trap in July and August, and my fumbling attempts are not very successful. But this morning's maybe conveys some of the pearly effect which always takes the eye, an organ which sees things differently from a camera, and more cleverly.
In the world of outings, Penny and I paid an enjoyable visit to my old Oxford college, Merton, to harvest some mulberry leaves for my silk worm eggs - which, I'm quite relieved to say, have not yet hatched. Although the friend who gave them to me successfully bred moths on her cosy narrowboat, I am not sure that I can keep up the required temperature. Let's see. At least I keep finding mulberry trees which are more common than some suppose. I have a friend who travels annually to harvest ones in London - they are easily findable by the purple splodges of fallen fruit on the pavement below - and only last weekend, we found this magnificently recumbent example on an Open Garden day at beautiful Radcot Manor.
Then the other evening we hooked up for an evening swim in the Thames at Dorchester, south of Oxford, and witnessed the interestingly sudden arrival of a swarm of flying ants which settled on the nice warm roof of the boat but were away by the time we'd sploshed ashore and dried. I couldn't work out whether the animated scenes which took place when one bumped into another were fighting or just conversation.
The moth trap meanwhile continues to be fairly subdued but I am hoping that the deliciously warm weather forecast for the Bank Holiday may bring some surprises. Here for the time being is an Orange Swift demonstrating the family's distinctive resting position - legs out like a spider, wings furled like a brolly - and a neat, governessy Willow Beauty (I think; I am a little unreliable on this type of delicate, salt-and-peppery moth).
And finally, the weather was so nice that I decided to walk into Oxford and back yesterday instead of taking the bus. I was surprised not to see more butterflies along the canal and in Port Meadow and the fields around Kidlington, but there were certainly plenty of Speckled Woods and lots of dragon and damselflies.