When I had calmed down (which was some considerable time later) I remembered that Not Everyone Shares My Excitement About Moths, and sent a text to apologise for the slightly breathy bordering on hysterical call. He, being the absolute lovely man he is, replied that he was thrilled for me that I'd seen something so beautiful that meant so much. He may regret that later because it's done absolutely nothing to dissuade me from calling him again when the next Incredible Wildlife Occasion Happens.
Before this I had also pinched my son's cheeks and picked him up and swirled him around. This is dangerous for three reasons. 1) He is getting heavy, 2) I have an old injury to my spine that relates to a powerful motorbike, a rather exciting boyfriend and a pothole, which is exacerbated by lifting awkward weights, and an eleven year old who does not necessarily wish to be lifted consititues an awkward weight, and 3) Any form of cheek pinching these days tends to provoke violence and is therefore not to be undertaken lightly. But this was not a moment for caution! So I pinched his cheeks again and he biffed me before saying: "What is the matter with you?!" So I said: "I have seen a Moth!" and he said, very seriously but with a twinkle that belies his inherent humour: "Mum, I think you have got a problem. You need to go to the Moth Addicts Department at the hospital." "Ah," I said, shaking my finger at him. "Very clever. I see what you have done there. MAD." And he grinned, before telling all his friends who were listening invisibly on Skype that his mother was driving him Mad With Moths.
I got quite a shock the first time I heard seven different voices all at different pitches and all talking at once coming from the study when I was pretty certain I'd only seen L go in there. But now I have learnt that all teen and pre-teen boys skype one another constantly while playing minecraft and I have stopped jumping as "Hello L's Mum!" comes booming out of the computer from several different invisible people whenever I walk by.
I also chair danced and sang along to Capital Radio for good measure after seeing this Amazing Visitor (I am forced to listen to Capital Radio whenever L is in the car with me, although this time it was probably better that Radio 4 say, which is hard to bounce along to when you're happy and indeed close to bursting). I sang at the top of my voice all the way to Waitrose, which is distance of some 3 miles, to let the emotion out otherwise I think I would have burst. Some of the other car drivers looked at me with pity, others with admiration, clearly wishing they too could be as liberated and Unconcerned By Public Reaction, while L merely rolled his eyes and wriggled further down in his seat so no-one could see him. It was at about this point that I made up a Moth Song which went something like "I think Moths are really great, but my son does not agree; I could watch Moths all day long but he'd eat them for his tea."
His version was a lot less polite and less positive too and involved a Great Deal of swearing so I won't repeat it here.
What was the cause of this Great Excitement I hear you cry? (except of course you don't need to because the Answer is in the title and you are all Clever People who will have already worked it out, but I shall tell you anyway ha ha!)
IT WAS A HUMMINGBIRD HAWKMOTH wot I have wanted to see for AGES and AGES!!!!!!!
I couldn't quite believe my eyes because at first I thought it was a hornetty type person, but as I got nearer (with camera in hand because these days it is surgically attached) I realised what I was seeing. It was the most spellbinding ten minutes I have spent in a very long time, just watching him feeding, first at the runner bean plants, and then among the Jasmine flowers.
I despaired of getting any clear photos initially because he was small (about half the size of my thumb) and darting around Like Mad and I was torn between watching him with my own eyes and trying to get a record on the camera in case that was it and he disappeared, but then he settled at the jasmine and fed from one particular plant for long enough for me to focus the camera and get some pictures. The wings are blurred of course because, just like a real hummingbird, they move constantly at a tremendous speed to keep the moth still enough to feed.
I expect only the fellow moth and wildlife enthusiasts among you will understand my euphoria at seeing this moth. To me he is an example of the Miracle Of Nature and I'm still so excited I don't think I'm going to be able to sleep tonight, which is not Great News as I've only just recovered from the sleep deprivation worrying about the moth-children gave me earlier in the week.
Right, I'll try and calm down now and impart the rest of our news.
The Tomato Thief has been apprehended. She didn't have a leg to stand on in the end because she was caught Red Beaked IN THE GREENHOUSE. Here is photographic proof...
Yes. As suspected, it was The Blackbird's Child All Along, and she wasn't remotely apologetic and has even started to eat the peppers for good measure. Teddy found her and gave her a sound telling off, but I don't expect it to make any difference at all. L has offered to be her Barrister when it comes to court, for which he will no doubt issue a Fat Fee if his hoovering is anything to go by.
The Cabbage White Children are all doing well, apart from trying to escape this morning. I managed to find them all dotted around the house and put them back in their pot and now there is a muslin cloth over the top sealing off the exit. Naughty Caterpillar Children. Clearly I am going to have my hands full with them.
I met up with my dear friend Mrs Massey to walk the dogs in the woods this morning. It was raining but we didn't let that stop us because we are Hardy Souls and besides, we were long overdue a natter. We are both interested in native plants and so our walk was interspersed with examinations of various leaves and blooms, and photos being taken.
Mrs M with Ted and his best mate Oscar
Common Birdsfoot Trefoil
Hairy St John's Wort
(well done Mrs M, you were spot on with this one)
Rowan, or Mountain Ash
(which is also rather charmingly called Grass Pea or Chickling Vetch)
Mrs Massey is currently making a Feathered Head Dress (as you do) and as Mavis has now ended her record-breaking broody stint and is moulting, I scooped up her feathers and handed them over...
I'll end with this picture of a wet bee, which for some unaccountable reason I find very funny....
Right, I'm off to sit in a quiet room and compose myself (which is a total lie- I'm actually going back out into the garden to see if I can find the Hummingbird Hawkmoth again).
Till next time,