The moths continue to be fairly routine and dominated by the brown and somewhat dull - although the various yellow underwings do not really deserve that dismissal. When at rest, they are mostly a little ordinary but as soon as they go whirring off, you get a brief but vivid glimpse of the brightly-coloured underwings which are their secret treasure and give them their name.
They are very reluctant to show this to the photographer, at least to this one. One of the advantages of the old days of keeping and 'setting' moths in cases was that you could examine underwings in all their glory and appreciate the range of oranges and yellows in this particular tribe. But those times have gone.
There have been exceptions to the general run, too, such as the lovely Angle Shades shown in my top photograph with a rather satisfactory background of one of our towels. And the little Marbled Beauty, above, with its beautiful and complex patterning.
The Elephant and Poplar Hawks continue to decorate the eggboxes, though the pair below were actually outside the trap. I took the Poplar to show some of Penny's tennis friends before releasing it and it flew off initially to incpect the court boundary line, like the Hawkeye replay device at Wimbledon. A friend has just been in touch about seeing a hummingbird Hawk, a regular immigrant from the continent at this time of year, and I am on the lookout for one to complete my list of annual hawk moth regulars.
Two slightly different 'Bronte governess' moths follow, the first a male with its impressive antennae. I get confused between the various, somewhat similar candidates in this field but I think that he is a Willow Beauty and the second moth a Mottled Beauty. They appeared to recognise one another as cousins as they were roosting close together in the same eggbox.
Things are meanwhile very busy in the silkworm nursery where my eggs have hatched and their tiny occupants are munching greedily away. It is surprising that there are any mulberry trees left in China! Luckily, I have discovered that a friend in the next village has one, so the food supply chain is secure.