Monday, 13 November 2017

Battling on

A week has gone by, of cold weather mostly, with rain moving in whenever the temperatures rise a little. It was so damp the other night that the moth trap went out and tripped our main fuses, causing me to creep around in the small hours with a torch to put things right.

I haven't lit the lamp since then, but the night's haul was worth the hassle, in the modest terms of this fag-end of the mothing season. I love the Sprawler, shown above on my wrinkly hand and in its original position on the wall of the house near the light. And the Feathered Thorn below is a lovely russet beast with very fine antennae on the male.

December moths - next pic - are reliable visitors, meanwhile, and it's pretty standard practice to get what I think is a Winter Moth, the final illustration today.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Tail-end Charlie

I haven't been putting the trap out much recently on account of the cold weather and darker nights, and this will now be the case until Spring comes. I was confirmed in the policy this morning by the arrival of my first December Moth of the year, the tail-end Charlie which usually rounds off my annual proceedings. It was the only resident overnight.

Unlike the rather commonplace November and Autumnal Moths, with their fey, grey fragileness, he or she is a doughty character very well-dressed to withstand the cold. My liking for this is increased by my having just avoided a chill on a cold day in Salisbury this week, when I could tell that I was too skimpily dressed and getting colder than I should. The devotional candles and souvenir shop in the cathedral came to my aid.

The December Moth is hardy enough to survive the UK winter as an egg which begins a life cycle that culminates in the hatching of adults in late October, in spite of their name. It is also found as far north as the Hebrides and lower slops of the Caledonian mountains. I expect that it or its relatives will still be around when I put out the trap again next week.