Two nights ago, it poured, and most of the moths very sensibly remained indoors watching the tele with their feet up. A few brave souls ventured forth and were kind enough to grace the box. These included a Common White Wave, a Chocolate Tip, an Engrailed and a Green Carpet...
|Furry choc tip|
|Common White Wave|
Today's visitors were more varied and plentiful, despite a 5 degree over night temp (but there was no heavy rain, which helps). The majority were from the Kitten Family, a group of moths who are blessed with furriness to keep them warm, but there was also my First Hawk of the year- a Poplar, a giant even among the Hawk Moths. I was very pleased to see him. I have a soft spot for Poplars because we get lots here and they were the first Hawk Moths I ever saw.
I will never forget L coming down to breakfast last summer, opening the door and rolling his eyes at the general number of moths, but specifically at all the Poplar Hawks who were Pretending To Be Various Integral Parts Of The House: swinging on blind chords, sleeping on plugs, sitting on door handles and (rather comically) on Waitrose Recipe Cards, not to mention the one who'd wandered over to L's school rucsac and had dozed off on the zip.......
He has actually gone to school with a moth in his bag before (and somehow managed to bring it home intact), as well as discovering a dead one in his water bottle.... Professional Hazard when you're the son of a moth-obsessed mother :-)
Here are today's Mothy People....
|Brindled Pug (I think- Pug's are Tricky Folk to ID)|
|Brown Silver Lines|
|Buff Tip head-on|
|Poplar Hawk- see how big he is?|
|Demonstrating 'The Dangle,' a Highly Technical Manoeuvre which entails very nearly sliding off a pencil...|
|Spectacle Moth. Wonder how he got his name?|
I've now reached over 50 moth species for this year, some new for the garden, which is exciting. Last year's total was a little over 300, so I'm taking bets on what this year's will be- 500? Be nice.
One other bit of news: Cleo, my puss cat (also known as the White Faerie Queen), who has been with me for 15 years since she was rescued as a kitten, went blind yesterday. In the morning she was seeing, by last night she wasn't. It was very distressing to realise that the reason she seemed unperturbed by the presence of the dogs, and wasn't looking at anyone and was very nearly bumping into things and was following all the walls was because she couldn't see. She's also very athriticky in her back legs and spine, so I passed a very teary night and morning expecting the worst, and even managed to cry all over our lovely vet Mr Fletcher this morning. He must see this all the time and was marvellous.
Anyhoo, it turns out she has Sudden Onset Retinal Degeneration, which is not uncommon in cats. We think she has a very small degree of vision left when she is really close to something. He said he'd never yet had to put a cat to sleep for it and there was every chance she'd be perfectly alright given time to adapt, as most cats are. She'll be helped by the fact she has her own small room away from the dogs and knows the ins and outs of it like the back of her paw, so as long as we don't move anything around she shouldn't be too disorientated. We've felt bad over the last couple of years that she was consigned to that room (a dog-related thing) but it actually turns out it is the best possible thing for her because she won't have to navigate the whole house and therefore will adapt more quickly, which will be less distressing for her.
I knew last night that she wasn't seeing, but it was still quite a shock to hear the vet say that she'd lost her sight. It is such a traumatic thing for people to go through that I guess we assign the same emotions onto our pets, but Mr Fletcher said it just isn't the same for cats, who hunt at night and have excellent hearing and of course their whiskers as extra sense organs. I've had time to think about it now and I am feeling a little calmer. He's given her some painkiller meds for her arthritis and otherwise she has a clean bill of health. She even purred when we got back home, which was a Massive Relief, because she wasn't purring last night which upset me all the more.
I'm off to do some healing for her eyes and tell her she will be OK. I can't tell you how relieved I am. Cleo has seen me through some of the worst points of my life and I owe her so much. She looked after me when I needed her most, and now it's my turn to take care of her and help her through this new stage of her life.
Animals bless us, don't they?
Hope you're all well,