The moth box was out last night, and with overnight temperatures dipping to a chilly 10 degrees I wasn't expecting much, but there were thirty different species in the box when I brought them in and four of these were new.
There are still lots of moths to come: for example it'll soon be Black Rustic and Sallow time. These are both beautiful moths in completely different ways. The Black Rustics are Darkly Handsome in a Dangerous Gothic sort of way, while the Sallow family come in a range of deep umbers and warm, rich oranges to match the falling leaves. Later still and the Chocolate Tip will be here, a rich dark moth covered in thick fur to keep him warm over Christmas. Before that, if we're very very very lucky, we might just be graced with a visit from that most elegant of moths, one that forms the pinnacle of most moth'ers viewing ambitions: the glorious Merveille Du Jour, whose arrival here last year when I'd just about given up hope of seeing it caused much squealing (and an aching face from smiling too much).
In the mean time, we've got lots of other Rustics, Thorns and even a Brimstone to see. The latter flew behind the radiator before I could get a pic, annoyingly. Moths that I haven't seen this year and did last include the graceful Swallow Tail and my all time fav the Green Emerald. I haven't seen a Hummingbird Hawk here either, although I did spot one in early March up on Magdalen (and nearly winded M by throwing my arm across his chest to stop him walking into it!). My blogging Pal Briony whose blog can be found here had a visit from one of these special creatures this week, so they are still about, just not coming to see me :-(
|Lesser Broad-Bordered Yellow Underwing|
|Dusky Thorn (new for year)|
|Mother of Pearl|
|Orange Swift (third one this year -I saw virtually none last year)|
|Small Square Spot (new for year and garden)|
|Double Square Spot (new for garden and year)|
|Broad Bordered Yellow Under Wing (love the stripey stockings and inquisitive expression)|
|Lesser Common Rustic (can only really be distinguished from Common Rustic by genital exams, but they are generally smaller and the kidney shape is usually white, as with this one, so I'm plumping for Lesser)|
|Six Striped Rustic|
|White ermine pillar|
|White ermine moth|
And the second is a very early instar (developmental stage) Kitten Moth, most likely a Puss Moth, the adult of which also visited the moth box earlier this year in May. I think this has got to be one of the cutest caterpillars- I love the little horns and eventually the tail will fork into two prongs. It's great to see evidence of them breeding successfully nearby.
|Puss Moth pillar|
|Adult Puss Moth|
|Adult Puss Moth|
J got her A Level results this week. She sat English, French and Classics and was hoping to study French at Exeter after spending this coming year working in France. She needed A,A,B to get on to the course she wanted, and that's exactly what she got, so we have one Very Happy Girly here. It's a relief for all of us, but especially for J- she worked so very hard so she really does deserve to be able to continue her studies at the place she chose. Hooray for J!
I'll leave you with a pic of a Canary Shouldered Thorn because I LOVE the expression, I'd pitch it somewhere between annoyed and 'Well? Why did you wake me up? Come on! Out with it- what do you want?'
Wishing you all a peaceful evening,