Monday, 20 October 2014

A True Marvel Of The Day (or more accurately, of the night)....

I have had the moth box lit two nights running because this is Merveille Time.

For those of you who aren't moth'ers, or have been reading my little compendium of Countryside Tales for less than a year, or else have just plain forgotten, the Merveille Du Jour is considered by many people to be the pinnacle of moth trapping (I really don't like that expression because it conjours up images of Victorian hunters with nets and pins, but in the absence of a better one I'll trust you all to know what I mean).

The Merveille Du Jour is frequently referred to as the Most Beautiful of British moths. It is a well-deserved accolade (although it would be more accurate to call it the Merveille Du Nuit, but we'll skim over that).
They are moths of Oak Trees, as evidenced by their brilliant camo which contrives to be both effective and really rather beautiful. They look like intricate swirls of lichen and mosses belonging to the deepest, the most ancient of forests, and when placed on an Oak are virtually impossible to see. 

I spent a lot of time last year gazing wistfully at the photograph of the Merveille on page 256 of my moth bible, wondering whether I would ever be lucky enough to see one in the flesh. When my blogging chum Martin posted pictures of his own Merveille (which arrived in his Oxfordshire garden in mid-October last year), my anticipation grew, because for most of last year the moths that Martin recorded in his garden turned up here a few days later.

I waited and waited. A week passed, and then a fortnight. Nothing. I began to give up hope. But then, on the very last day of October, I opened the moth box first thing in the morning and very nearly fell over when I saw what was waiting for me inside.

I remember being unrepentant in my joy when I posted most of the considerable number of photographs I took of the moth, and I am about to be again, because last night, despite clear skies and cooler temps which are generally less favoured by moths than slightly damp, overcast muggy nights, the Merveille once again deigned to grace us and was waiting for me on the underside of the lamp when I removed it this morning.

There were twelve species of moth in the box, totalling twenty two individuals, and the Merveille was the only new one. Long gone are the heady days of summer when I would record 450 moths in the box of a morning. To be honest, mothing in the cooler months of the year is easier and that is welcomed.

So, without further ado, sit back and enjoy one of Mother Nature's Truly Amazing Creations..... I give you The Merveille Du Jour.










Accompanying this lovely moth was a Satellite, a moth we don't see all that often and so he/ she deserves a place in this post too....


The Darkly Handsome Black Rustic....



The brown form of the Green Brindled Crescent (plenty of these about at present)



And, a rather unexpected and lovely large (25mm) Sexton Beetle called Necrodes litteralis or the Shore Beetle...




And there was me feeling sad that all the small things are preparing to hibernate and the garden is so quiet without them.

I'll leave you with a pic of Teddy snoozing (doubtless exhausted from Poppy's constant requests to play chase and bite), a rather wintry shot of the patio which is looking quite bare now that the garden furniture has been put away, and a message for friends Paul and Saz, both of whom have been very poorly indeed in hospital over the last week or two: Get Well Soon Guys xx





Wishing you all a Good Week,

CT :o)

28 comments:

  1. What a beautiful moth. We have lots of oak trees around us so I will be on the look out for one. Do they turn up in Yorkshire?

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    1. They are distributed right across the UK, although thinly scattered and most common in the Southern counties. It's worth checking oaks during the day for one- you might get lucky, and they are such fab creatures to see :o)

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  2. well done you, I bet you were really pleased, there is a large Oak in next doors garden, might be worth putting the trap out. I have seen moths still flying under the street light even though it has been chucking it down.
    Amanda xx

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    1. Thrilled. There are still a few species to come for the year- November moth, Autumn moth, Winter moth - but on the whole things are slowing down. Moths are amazing in that they will fly in quite heavy rain and the winter ones fly right through December, Jan and Feb x

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  3. It really is a beauty of a moth! Really pleased for you that you saw one again and it's great that there are late season moths to look forward to! 12 different species in one night sounds pretty good to me for this time of year. :-)

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    1. I was so chuffed to see it this morning, and barely a day after we'd been discussing it on your blog too! There are a few new Autumn and Winter species still to come, so there will be a smattering of species flying bravely over the colder months but on the whole things are slowing down. I am wondering whether to do my dissertation for my degree on moths and weather patterns as I have all this data already collected :o) x

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  4. I love looking at all your moths. All so different.

    Jean
    x

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    1. They are amazingly varied as a group, lots of different sizes, shapes and colours, but the Merveille has to be one of, if not the, prettiest UK moth. So pleased you enjoy seeing them x

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  5. That is a stunning moth CT, absolutely gorgeous :-) Hopefully when I get all settled into our new cottage I'll be able to get the moth trap out again, though for the time being I'll just enjoy your moth-ing adventures instead :-)

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    1. Hey David, lovely to hear from you :o)
      Yes, I think I could (and to be honest do) waste a lot of time looking at the MDJ :o) Will look forward to a resumption of your mothing activities in due course, when all is settled, and some piccies/ description of the new abode?

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  6. How fantastic is that!!! The numbers might be dropping in terms of quantity, but you are still getting new ones and ones that you have never had before, so that is really great isn't it!! xx

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    1. You are so sweet to comment as I know they aren't your favourite animals, but hopefully as an accomplished crafter you'll be able to enjoy the wonderful colours and patterns some of the moths sport :o) xx

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  7. Sigh, a beautiful creature. Thanks to your blog I really have come to appreciate the subtle drama of the moth. x

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    1. I'm so pleased- they largely go unappreciated which is doing them a disservice, both because of their beauty and variety and also because of the vital pollinator services they provide :o) xx

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  8. Such beauty. Mother Nature is filled with such wonderful gifts to us. I love all your photos! Post away. I'll never tire of them. The merveille is indeed gorgeous! Isn't merveille the French word for marvelous?! :)

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    1. I agree completely- would rather look at nature than anything else myself. x

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  9. I always love looking at all your moths however the Merveille Du Jour.is a real beauty.

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  10. How pretty is that? Absolutely wonderful, and I am so glad that he turned up for you after all.

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    1. Glorious. I was very pleased to see it. Wasn't certain it would turn up this year :o)

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  11. fascinating description of a beautiful moth and wonderful photographs. I really enjoyed looking at those as a soothing distraction from the work I should be doing... Thank you. And of course I love the picture of the resting Teddy. Lxx

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    1. Thanks, Lily. Glad it gave you a breathing space. On a more base note, there was a poo waiting for me on the sitting room carpet when I got home tonight. Thank you Pop! x

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  12. Well done on the MdJ CT - such a beautiful moth and lovely photos showing it in all its glory :) I doubt I'll ever trap one here so I will just enjoy your pics :)

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    1. I do so wish an Mdj for you- you may still see one, there is time yet :o)

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  13. What a wonderful moth CT. I love the super close up of the wing pattern and colour. Of course all the other moths are lovely too including the Black Rustic.

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    1. I love all the scales in the close up- nature is amazing. I'm also rather partial to the Black Rustics- darkly handsome :o)

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  14. What an absolute stunner. I always love looking through your mothing pics. Is that a word. I kind of hope not! xx

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    1. It deserves it's name I reckon. So pleased you enjoy seeing them- I do sometimes wonder whether I am boring everyone with the moth pics :o) x

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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