Wednesday 28 December 2011

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to one and all, moths included

Hiya! Hope you've had a lovely Christmas and that fun is continuing through Christmas week; and all warmest wishes for the New Year. We've had the mildest weather for 14 years and although the trap is mothballed, I'm tempted to bring it out again just to see if any wonders are around.

I'm encouraged in this notion by the nightly presence beneath our porch light of Winter Moths including this one, above and below (twice with flash and once without), which perched on the wall, neatly positioning itself over the grout. You can link back via the previous post to Interesting Facts about the Winter Moth (and interesting indeed they are). More soon, maybe...

...and actually here's a little more sooner than I expected (it's now 29 December, almost the year's end. I'm even dozier than usual during this combination of festive holiday and the off-season for moths; but last night I got the Moth Bible down from the shelves, dusted it down and checked the pictures. And I think this may be a November Moth. I will check with Charlie Fletcher as one of my very first New Year resolutions, after the weekend. But any wise comments from passing experts would be appreciates, as always.

Friday 16 December 2011

Wintertime winds

Winter has arrived in the UK, and with it the Winter Moth. I hadn't noticed this one which perched on our stairs and was luckily spotted by Penny before I trampled on it. When I deployed the camera, it fluttered off and ended up perching on the stair rail. As you can see, it folds its wings over its back, butterfly style.

I've written about the fascinations of the Winter Moth at some length on this blog in the past and am too tired after the annual Northern Journalists' Lunch, to repeat myself here. Check out this past entry for more info.

Merry Christmas in the meanwhile, and all warmest wishes for the New Year!

Thursday 8 December 2011

Time to wake up? No! Go back to sleep!

Hello! I have emerged from hibernation just to show you something else which has done the same: this Peacock butterfly which has been dozing in our dining room (for overseas readers, that is the only room in a house where English people never have meals).

I know exactly why it woke up. Penny and I have both been working in there and although we have a never-ending struggle over the thermostat (me warm, she cooler), the room eventually reached summer temperatures which deceived our secret guest.

Out it fluttered, beating vainly against the window for a time so that I almost cupped it in my hands and took it outside into the sunshine. I'm glad I didn't. Today has seen hurricanoes of King Lear proportions and it's also cold. Much better to curl up above the curtains or wherever, and go back to sleep.

Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells are famous hibernators, and account for the theatrical tradition that the appearance of a butterfly on the first night will bring a production luck. This is far from a rare event (although I admit to having written about it in the past as cause of excitement). Theatres are mostly big and have lots of curtains. Perfect Peacock territory.

Sorry the pics are a bit blurred. I had to reach across computers, tables, spaghettis of wire cabling etc to take them. It would all have been risky to move and I am too old to climb furniture.