Sunday, 22 June 2014

Silence And Moths

How much time do you spend each day in silence?

For me, the answer is quite a lot. It happens to be my preference. I might go so far as to say need. If I don't get a decent dose of solitude and natural noises (of the wild rather than the man made kind) I get grouchy. 

A recent report has suggested that people in Britain get an average of 52 minutes silence per day, although of these, 29% spend less than 30 minutes in silence and 16% have no silence at all. The report goes on to say that unwanted noise at night raises stress levels and contributes to cardiovascular problems.

As a species, we began in a world where noise was only constant if it was natural, and I'm not sure we've evolved to the degree that our bodies can cope with the constant stream of loud and invasive man made noises so many of us are subjected to so often today.

A similar question could be asked of darkness. Occasionally we have people to stay here who can not cope with the concept of natural dark because they are not used to it. We have no street lights, only stars. And there is no noise here at night beyond owls hooting and foxes calling. Our more urban visitors usually struggle to sleep, but for me and M it's the opposite. The change between light and dark is also important for the production of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. We need the distinction between the two as, it seems, we also need periods of sound and silence.

Something to ponder.

Busy weekend here, everyone is home and we've been out and about. J has finished her A Levels and as a celebration we took her to see As You Like It at the Playhouse in Salisbury last night. It was a superb production and we all enjoyed it (especially sipping our G&Ts at the start and eating Marsh Ice Cream at the interval). 

Poppy gained huge credibility on our walk this morning by walking determinedly into the river at Houghton and swimming while Ted danced anxiously from paw to paw on the bank side yelping. L and I saw a water vole swimming across a brook on the way back. My Water Vole Radar is clearly 'on' right now :-)

This afternoon we have been drinking wine in my in-law's gorgeous and bountiful garden while chatting to people I haven't seen since last year's garden party. We managed to disgrace ourselves twice: firstly me, by assuming a 33 year old child minder was 18 and had just finished her A Levels, and then M put his foot in it by asking whether Carrie (svelte mother of 4) could still fit down the slide into their swimming pool). Carrie's sister in law is about to collect an MBE from her Maj this week, which inevitably turned the conversation round to fashion and whether it's correct to wear open-toed wedge-heels for such an event when tights are stipulated. M looked completely lost by this point in the conversation, but was saved by the kids bombing into the pool and soaking us all.

The Moth Box was out on Fri and yielded 156 moths with a total of 55 different species, of whom 17 were new for the year and some new for the garden. Not Bad.

Here are some shots...

Beautiful Hook-Tip

Buff Ermine


Ele Hawk

Ele and Poplar Hawks

Four Hawk Moths: 2 ellies, 2 poplars....
Grey Arches (real moth on right, picture in book on left)
Privet Hawk

Round-Winged Muslin Moth

Willow Beauty & Marbled White Spot demonstrating size differences!

Longhorn Moth

I'll leave you with some shots taken round the garden. My Cornflowers are just starting to come into flower (sown this year from seed) as are the Poached Egg Plants, and the Cosmos remains an interesting study for close ups....



Clover close-up is also worth a second look...

Mining bees have been busy throwing up holes in the lawn...

 And the damsels continue to hatch and match....

We perhaps won't go into the subject of my field vole (s) who have eaten most of M's kale and sweetcorn over the last three nights. I told him they'd got babies to feed but he wasn't moved....

And the mouse is still in the utility room. I have ordered a Longworth Trap.... so may have pictures to show you next week.

In the mean time, ma and I are off to see the roses at Mottisfont tomorrow and then I have another Roding Woodcock Survey to do in the woods after dark, as well as more water vole searching later this week, so it's All Go.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend and enjoying the sun if you have it.

CT :-)


  1. A great selection of Moths, been seing more moths flying at night so will put my home made trap out this week. The Clover flower looks different ?
    How great going looking for Woodcock, looking forward to seeing how that goes.
    Amanda xx

    1. I forgot about your homemade trap...perfect moth-weather at the moment so def worth seeing what you get.

      I think the clovers were together in a line :-)

      Did the woodcock survey last week too- amazing birds with the strangest call! x

  2. I had no idea moths could be so beautiful. I shall look more closely in future.

    jean x

  3. In answer to your question, I spend a lot of my day in silence, apart from natural sounds. I do listen to the radio sometimes but make myself turn it off rather than use it as acoustic wallpaper!

    Lovely moths again. We found a huge hairy caterpillar this evening, at Keyhaven. I was sure you would have known who it was!

    Enjoy Mottisfont. It`s a good year for roses.

    1. Natural sounds are usually such a tonic for the soul. We have the TV on for maybe an hour in the evening, all the rest is usually countryside noises here too :-)

      Ooh, wonder if your pillar was a moth? They are often more elaborate than flutter pillars.

      Mfont was superb- roses slightly past their best now, but still spectacular and not over-run with people either as we went early.

  4. Love all the hawkmoths - rarely get them here (and some species I've never seen) so its always a treat to see photos of yours :)

    Agree about the solitude and silence. I would go bananas if I didn't have time to myself each day - even if I only have time for a wander round the garden.

    Enjoy the roses at Mottisfont :)

    1. We seem to do well for hawks- 4 species here so far this year and hoping to get more before the end of summer. We'll see. Another water vole this morning too- on a different bit of the river :-)
      Roses were lovely but slightly faded- it's been so hot here I guess that's why. x

  5. I definitely need some time for silence every day, it doesn't have to be totally quiet, but I need time to think and just be me on my own. It can be in the car with the radio on while I am singing, but it is the being alone that I really need. I hope that you find the silence that you need - and lots more moths!! xx

    1. Being on your own is such a good thing isn't it? In moderation with company I mean. xx

  6. Hello, I have just discovered your blog and am following - love the moth pictures.

    1. Hi Stephanie :-) Thank you for the follow and comment and welcome to C Tales. I saw you'd joined so popped over to yours and have reciprocated the follow. Looking forward to reading more about your seagulls!


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