Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Autumnal Moths, Hops and An Abundance of Moorhen Children

The cooler weather is certainly having a marked effect on the moths. At the tail end of last week when I put the box out there was a single moth in it by morning. It was a Frosted Orange and I lost him- he escaped somewhere into the house before I'd even got a pic, which L found very funny, but he did reappear that evening by flying onto my finger which at least made returning him outside easy peasy (I have been known to spend a couple of hours following small flying people around the house in an attempt to get them to go outside). It shows how numbers have fallen when you compare this against the 300 moths we were getting on warm summer nights.

Last night four Moth People came visiting and two of those were new species, illustrating the seasonal nature of moths and the worthwhileness of continuing to put the box out regardless of date or indeed temperature. These have taken my total to 309.

It will be interesting to look back after the winter is over and see who did come to the box during the cooler months, and of course next year will be my first full year of moth trapping so by the end of 2014 I'll have a complete year of data, and the following one will provide me with something to compare.

Here are a selection of today's folks:

 Autumnal Moth (very appropriate name)
 
 Feathered Thorn

Green Brindled Crescent

We took the kids out for the Regulation Weekend Stroll round the estate path at Mottisfont on Sunday. Glorious weather, at least while we were out. Hops are drying in the hedgerows. They have the most remarkable scent when crumbled in your hands, a sort-of cross between garlic and lemon...




There were hazel catkins too...

 
And perfect dandelion clocks...


Yew berries (not sure I've ever seen these before). I thought I might use this image on our Christmas cards this year- what do you think?


Coppicing had been going on in the woods...


And a snail was out enjoying the sun....


There were Sweet Chestnuts lying on the ground...


And F, who is now way taller than L, taller than his sister and as tall as me, has set his sights on catching up his dad in the height stakes (although still has some way to go)...


I mentioned before that we have a Moorhen Child who comes regularly into the garden to eat the apples and the bird seed. Well yesterday I saw THREE moorhen children hanging out together, which is great news. Only one comes in the garden, but I'm sure his siblings will be interested once they realise he returns plump and stuffed with food...







He is very nervous, as you can see...
Going....



Going....


Gone!



The Sparrow Girls are back in the garden with their dad. I still haven't seen my old friend Mrs Sparrow. Her daughters are more nervous of me but they did look rather sweet sitting in the hedge together this morning. If you look closely you might just make out dad sitting further down the hedge, bottom left corner.


A quick footnote to the previous post. 
Thank you to everyone who left their comments and thoughts after reading it. It was reassuring to read that you all feel similarly concerned about the increasingly pornographic nature of popular culture.  I emailed our MP on Sunday and yesterday got a response back. I thought you might be interested to read what she had to say. It certainly reassured me and I hope that some positive change will now happen.

"With regard to the Miley Cyrus issue, as the mother of a 15 year old I entirely concur with your view.  I was horrified by her performance at the recent VMAs and broached the subject with my daughter.  I also looked at Robin Thicke’s video which was beyond repellent, and sends such a horrific misogynistic message.  My daughter’s response was almost as shocking, “so what, there are worse”.  I didn’t like to think that was possible but she assures me it is.



I am no Mary Whitehouse, but I do think there is a level of decency below which music videos have clearly slipped.  Twenty years ago they would have been classified as pornography and banned, now we are supposed to accept it?  There is an All Party Group which has done some work on this, and my colleague Claire Perry has also been appointed by the PM as some sort of Czar on the protection of childhood, so I shall refer to her and see if she can shed any light on Governmental action."


CT :-)

19 comments:

  1. Lovely to see there are some moths still about - and new species for you, too. I think the yew berries would make a great Christmas card. Interesting to read the response from your MP. My MP's letters tend to be a bit robotic such as 'this is the party line' and I refer you to this policy etc but your MP has written quite a personal letter.

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    1. I rather suspect that most of the winter moths will be new species for the year because of the inclement conditions- it'll be interesting to see and I'll keep you posted.

      Thanks for feedback on the yew berries pic. They are amazing looking things.

      M and I said the same about the personal tone of our MP's response. I wish they could all write like that- it reassures you that they are human beings too and share our concerns, and hopefully makes it more likely that things will get done rather than trotting out the same tired party line. I certainly think well of her for it.

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  2. Very quiet as regards moths up here now, though the recent wet weather has not really allowed me to get the trap out, but as you say it is still worth it and I intend to keep trapping throughout the coming winter. I know someone whom even traps in the snow !

    Lovely pics as always and I love the juvenile Moorhen :-)

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    1. That'll be me this winter David, out there battling through the snow to reach the trap.... I haven't given up hopes of getting a Merveille Du Jour this autumn, but equally haven't heard of anyone who has had one- have you?

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  3. Your MP sounds very approachable. We used to have Ann Widdecombe who was absolutely marvellous, a proper do-er with her own mind. I miss her, and her successor is nowhere near her mark.

    Love the yew berries picture. A picture perfect card, methinks.

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    1. She's gone up in my estimation recently. Hopefully getting into her stride now. I think Ann W is fab- straight talking, no nonsense etc etc.
      Thanks also re crimble card feedback (I am getting round the "C" word issue this way, you see?). I shall order some forthwith and send you an online version (so pretend to be surprised as if you'd never seen it before) :-)

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  4. Lovely moths CT - I had a Feathered Thorn last night (first trapping session for a week) together with a few Light Brown Apple Moths. I've never trapped regularly through the winter except for the occasional mild night. I usually stop mid-November and re-commence mid Feb/early March.

    The yew berries would make a very seasonal Chrimble card :)

    Thanks for posting response from your MP. At least it was a personal reply as others has said and she replied so quickly. My MP takes months and has ignored my last few emails and letter on badger slaughters :(

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    1. I mentioned the badgers in the email too and she's putting together some info for all interested constituents- I'll forward it to you.

      Am quite excited about winter moth trapping now I know only getting 4 in the box doesn't necessarily mean no new species! :-)

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  5. I really like the yew berries too. I always think they look like tiny red olives.

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    1. They do look like olives! Thanks Em- I knew they reminded me of something but just couldn't place them :-)

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  6. Gorgeous moorhens.
    We used to put fresh hop bines on the beams of our previous kitchen, where they would slowly dry out. The scent was divine.

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    1. They do have a unique smell and I love seeing them in the hedges at this time of year.

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  7. Morning! And many thanks; now I know that a flurry of angular, grey moths in the trap this morning was a brood of Autumnals.

    But I'm really writing to say: check out what else arrived here this morning. Ha, ha!

    all warmest

    M

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    1. I've just seen it!!!!!! I am VERY pleased for you, and VERY jealous. A MDJ!!!!!!!!! The box is out here tonight, and I am crossing everything, including all the fingers and toes of everyone else in the house :-)

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  8. Hi CT Amazing to see a Moorhen click in your garden. It is an encouraging response letter you received from your MP. Surely something has to be done in the name of decency. By the way, loved the Moths.

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    1. Aren't they gorgeous? They've been coming in to the garden every Autumn for the past 3-4 years. CT :-)

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  9. I'm so glad you got such a promising reply from your MP, mine always just sends robotic replies! Lovely moths, moorhen babies and naturey photos :)

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    1. She's certainly earnt herself brownie points with me.

      Glad you enjoyed the photos x

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  10. I really like the yew berries image. Great moths with brilliant names. The going, going, gone moorhen made me laugh

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x