First of all, a huge thanks to everyone who took the time to comment on yesterday's price of conservation post. It was good to have everyone's thoughts and opinions as this sort of conservation work is on the increase and it helps to know what people think and feel about it. I realise we're all predominantly wildlife enthusiasts here and I would doubtless get different feedback in a different kind of forum, but it was helpful nonetheless.
Today is my birthday. I know- I just missed being an April Fool. Today I am 42 years young (and you know you're getting old when you call it 'years young'- what a sad old git), although my husband put 41 in my card by accident, which made us all smile. I got a card from all the outdoor people too, which I thought was Very Clever of them (although I'm a Bit Worried about what happened to the small snail once the camera was turned off)....
I had a Good Laugh this morning trying to work out what all the drawings were (art is not M's strong point :o) ).....
The end one is not, as I at first thought, a small crocodile, but is, in fact, a Great Crested Newt. The cute chubster beside him is a Water Vole, then there's a butterfly, a bird, and (believe it or not) a bee :o)
I have a dear family member who is currently very poorly. Her name is Jo, but we have always called her Jo Dear. She is in mid brain tumour treatment right now, and with characteristic good humour has named her tumour Brian. Despite being so unwell she still found time to send me a birthday card. I have always loved the cards she finds and sends me... Jo, if you're reading this- love you very much and am sending you lots and lots of healing thoughts xxx
My lovely chum Mrs M sent me some owls....
Kaz sent me Poppy before her hair cut....
And the family got me butterflies. I think everyone knows me pretty well :o)
I had some lovely prezzies: a sewing box and a gorgeous Mary Berry cookbook from Ma, mugs that look like they have Poppy on them from my sis, the complete series of Dad's Army, Breaking Bad and Game Of Thrones DVDs from M (an eclectic mix there, eh?) as well as Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and some wildflower turf for the garden which is coming later, and tokens from my lovely in laws. I'm saving L's gift to me till he's home from school as mornings aren't his thing at present and you risk Instant Teenage Melodrama if you dare to speak :o) The only thing I can't understand is why no-one got me Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark.
Right, enough Birthday Stuff, on with the Moths!
We're still getting smalls and browns here, but then the weather is so cold and dismal I reckon Spring is running about 3 weeks late so everything is delayed. Today's mothy people were a mixture of Drabs and Quakers, which is to be expected at this time of year....
I was Rather Captivated by this pale form of the Clouded Drab. The background colouration is just like silver birch. Interestingly, this form is more common in the West of the UK (we're slap bang in the middle of the South Coast here so I guess we count as both?). In the East, the darker forms proliferate. Now, why should that be? Habitat, presumably?
This next one is also a Clouded Drab. It looks identical to the first until you look closely.
This one (below) is the darker marked Clouded Drab, which we tend to get more of here.
There were ten Common Quakers in the box. I've put the ruler in so you can get a sense of scale. All these moths are around 2cm in length- the bigger ones don't turn up until end of May/ June time.
Here's the Clouded Drab beside the Common Quaker, the Drab being the bigger of the two.
And here's a Small Quaker, just to show the difference. He is only 1.4cm.
The Moth Box is filled with egg cartons so they have somewhere to rest and hide- here's a shot of a Common Quaker asleep on the side of an egg box this morning. Sometimes, it can be easy to miss the moths if they're tucked up snoozing in cracks and crevices in the cardboard, so you have to check very carefully :o)
An Odd One Out this morning was this rather beautiful Engrailed, who I found asleep on the fence. The wingspan of this moth is about 3.8cm, so a good deal bigger than the rest.
And finally, a solitary Hebrew Character, who at least injected a bit of a different pattern into this morning's haul. I'm suspecting this one is a male because of the furry antennae
Once all the moths have been photographed and recorded, I transfer them into small plastic pots which is where they snooze out the remainder of the day till nightfall when they get released back into the garden. Here are three Common Quakers sharing their pot with a Clouded Drab...
I know I've shown the Moth Defensive Position before, but it's always interesting to see so here is a Common Quaker demonstrating just how well they play dead when they feel threatened. He was soon up on his legs again, once the danger (me) had passed...
In other news, J got back from France late last night having completed her time out there. She's now fluent and has had a ball, doing her own radio show and talking to people who were in the Resistance about their experiences. She's looking for a job to save up for Uni which she starts in Sept. I want to make her a quilt so we're off fabric shopping together at some point. She wants a pair of PJs too, and as I am now a whizz at whipping up a new pair of bottoms (if you know what I mean) in an afternoon we'll be choosing some fabric for those too (any excuse really). As my pa in law has just had open heart surgery this week and is currently hooked up to various machines in Intensive Care, she'll be off to see him as well. She's been away since Sept and we've all missed her, so I think seeing her will cheer him up. He doesn't take enforced inactivity well so we're all hoping he will be sensible and not rush about too much too soon.
I'll leave you with a picture of the Small Child, who has taken up permanent position on the picnic table whenever she's outside. The flower pot she used to stand on has, apparently, been abandoned in favour of the table, largely I suspect because she can see over the top of the fence rather than just through it that way :o)
She has a Lovely Time watching life go by on the Other Side Of The Fence, a world she didn't know existed until the table reappeared and she worked out she could climb on to it. Very Naughty Indeed.
Hope all are well?