Sunday, 10 May 2015

The First Hawk Moth Of The Year & VE Day Memories

All the Grannies and Grandpas came for lunch today. We had G&Ts to start us off, then roast pheasant with all the trimmings and rhubarb shortbread and double cream for pud. Yum.

Before that, M and I took the dogs out for a walk across the fields with J who had arrived late last night after doing a day shift at her job in the cafe (saving for uni). M and I were out with friends last night and we haven't seen J for a month, so it was lovely to catch up on all her news. We bumped into some farming friends while walking through the fields. They are lovely people, but can talk for England, and as a result we were late back to prep lunch. The delay was extended quite a lot when Ted then found some badger poo along the ancient Green Lane and rolled in it (picture at the end).

We got home with an hour to spare before everyone arrived. M rushed off to peel potatoes, J chopped onions and garlic, L was set to tidying the study and F took charge of the hoovering. This left yours truly with the delightful job of washing the badger poo off Ted. Yuk. Talk about drawing the Short Straw, eh?

Lunch was lovely. Three of the Grans and Grandpas were born before VE Day and had Tales To Tell, so M asked them what they were doing on the day. M's mum was set the task of ringing the village bell in Ireland where she grew up- aged about ten, she was too small to reach it herself and had to be picked up. My Step Dad was nine, and remembers trestle tables being laid out in his village for everyone to celebrate together, and my pa in law, about 14, remembers a huge party with lots of singing and dancing. He was too young to indulge in much unbridled kissing of stranger though, apparently :o)

I had put the moth box out last night and, despite the best intentions of the Naughty Robin, who had left behind a feast of moth wings on the floor :o(  there were some nice moths inside, including the First Hawkmoth Of The Year- Yay!!!.

I had potted them all up first thing, so after lunch I brought them in to show the Grannies and Grandpas, as well as a couple of the eight May Bugs who had also graced the box (love 'em, especially the little feathery fans at the ends of their antennae and the stickiness of their feet)....




This Chocolate Tip was demonstrating how he got his name perfectly...


There were two Clouded Borders, moths that look like butterflies but are Quite Small.....


My First Early Grey of the year....


And a Frosted Green for Good Measure...


This Marbled Brown was a first for me too (I think for the whole garden, not just the year, although I need to check). 


It's nice to see the good old Pebble Hooktip back.....


But the piece de resistance has to be this magnificent Poplar Hawkmoth, who represents my First Hawk Of The Year, and as such is Tremendously Welcome. The Poplar was also the first Hawk I ever saw, so retains a Special Place In My Heart and always will :o)

 
The Hawkmoths are a special breed: much, much bigger than all the other moths they are a striking bunch who belong to summer. This is actually one of the smaller hawks- later Poplars seem to be bigger (here at least). The adult Poplar has no mouth so doesn't feed- his sole job is to mate, and then, after a week or two, he dies.


They are Very Friendly Souls who are usually Very Happy to sit on your hand while you ooh and ahh over them. Grannie had a go- I think it's possibly the first time she's held one- and he sat still on her finger for a bit before flying onto M's mum's shoulder, and from there on to Poppa's. I judged it time to retrieve him and settle him back into his pot when he flew onto the ground and the dogs started to look interested :o)

 
It's all Good Stuff, even more because it suggests the summer species are starting to arrive now, which is Good News for insect fans like me who've been starved all winter....

I'll leave you with the promised pic of a poo-ridden Ted (revolting boy)...He couldn't have been more covered in it if he'd tried. What Marvellous Timing, too....

 
Hope you've all had a lovely weekend and that a Good Week lies ahead for you, free of Hounds Covered In Poo.

CT :o)



 

 

32 comments:

  1. I dread the day Nelly finds Fox or Badger poo, she is a 'roller' too CT. Love the Hawk Moth, would be amazing to see one in the flesh m'dear.

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    1. WHY do they have to do it????

      Sometimes hawks are found by day so its worth keeping an eye out :o)

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  2. It's even more terrible when they roll on a dead animal CT.

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    1. I think its hard to choose between the two Dave! :o)

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  3. Hi Ted, Toby here. How I envy you badgers. I was bred to hunt them, as I am sure you Know. But, I would love to roll in their poo if I could ever find some. rabbit poo is all I can find here and it is not suitable for rolling in, but I do like to eat it. It makes my parents fly into a rage when I do. Ha Ha. Regards from me and Phinn. P.S. Have counted over 50 pigeons since we joined the club.

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    1. Well done indeed on your pigeon score Toby! My pigeons are mostly sitting on eggs now so not so many about. Ted :o)

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  4. Oh Teddy! What a naughty boy you are, and on the day that visitors were coming too!!! That is not setting a very good example to Poppy is it! Glad you had a good time with your family and with the mothys too! xx

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    1. A very poor example for Pops, who fortunately didn't copy him on this occasion! xxx

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  5. Teddy, we think you are fabtastic! The best way to mes up the peeps day,is to spread muck all over just before guests arrive.
    Well done you!
    Jane 's cats xxxxx

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    1. Hi Jane's Cats- I agree, always best to time these things to perfection! Ted xx

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  6. Oh my, they don't tell you about that when you go to pick out a cute little bundle of white fluff at the pet shop. What's the psychology behind it do you think?! Fantastic moths, it sounds like you had a top weekend, except for the badger bit. CJ xx

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    1. L has a theory it's to do with hunting- cover yourself in your prey's poo and you can get closer to it :o) Can't say I fancy it myself... xx

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  7. Hi CT, we saw a male Adonis Blue on our local chalk downland this afternoon. We also saw and tried to identify a small brown butterfly but it did not settle. Could this be the female? I did get a photo of the Blue Adonis but it was on my phone so not very good. A Peacock butterfly also posed for ages on the chalk path, and we saw Brimstones and Large Whites, the latter obviously enjoying the fields of rape. Thank you for inspiring me to get out looking for butterflies on our Chalk.

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    1. It's a little early yet for the Adonis - could it have been a Common Blue? They can be hard to tell apart: the white wing margin is broken by black lines in the Adonis, but not in the Common, and the blue colour is much more striking in the Adonis once you've seen it. The small brown flutter was most likely a Brown Argus, especially if you were on The Chalk. Well done- sound like you had a great day butterfly spotting. I'm so pleased you're enjoying it. Later in the summer (July/ Aug) have a look for Chalkhill Blues :o)

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  8. Love the Hawk moth - not many moths (or insects) around here at the moment - it must be much warmer where you are. So glad you had a good family get-together - apart from the Teddy incident!

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    1. Thanks :o) Yes, bit chilly and windy here by day at the mo, just warmed up at night a little. Very pleased as have just found two orange tip eggs on the cuckoo flower I grew last year!

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  9. Why do dogs go for the grossest, smelliest things? Why can't they roll in lavender or something pleasant?

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  10. Hey CT,
    The Hawk is a beauty. Marc's step dad was in London throughout the war. He was bought up in an orphanage, and they weren't evacuated. He was in the army policing Berlin after the war. The boys have often asked him about his life back then. He made it sound a bit like that film, Hope & Glory, although I can't imagine it was much fun for him really.
    Leanne xx

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    1. That's an amazing story- my own Grandpa was in the Navy and was sunk by a U Boat, but never spoke about it. xxx

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  11. Absolutely brilliant to see the Hawk moth, you must have been so thrilled. I used to have May bugs in my last garden, fascinating creatures and I love the noise they make as they fly about. My black cat Chilli used to leap about in the evenings trying to catch them!

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    1. I love the May Bug noise too- such endearing creatures. :o)

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  12. Have you got the poo out of Ted, old man would rather eat it, on Saturday managed to eat, cow, horse and rabbit poo while out.. no kisses to night and banned to the other end of the sofa.
    Love the moth and how nice to share it with the family.It's size would make me shiver a bit, not to sure, did find a long horn moth on Friday, my kinda size and one of my favourite.
    Hope the revision is going well..
    Amanda xx

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    1. I'm afraid ours eat pop too- no manners whatsoever :o)

      I saw some Longhorns today too xx

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  13. Love the hawkmoth and glad you are getting a nice selection in the moth trap. Sounds like a lovely day with the grand parents and hearing their memories. Hope you got lunch served in time! As for that naughty dog..... glad I've got cats! :-) xx

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    1. Yes, cats are certainly a deal more fastidious than dogs for sure! Hoping for more moths this week as the weather's warming up a bit xx

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  14. How lovely to see a Hawk moth & naughty Ted, thankfully Rocky hound isn't a roller. It sounds like an interesting party I used to enjoy listening to my father talk about the war, he remembered bits as a child! My mother dropped into conversation at the weekend that her elder brother was in Burma during the war, typical of the woman not to talk about it before x

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    1. Fascinating about Burma- wonder if you'll be able to find out any more? I'd never thought to ask our parents about VE day memories before- it was fascinating listening to them talking about it. xx

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  15. I love the little feathery fans on the May bugs, I must take a close look at them in future. One of my JR's (she's white too) is constantly rolling in poo and anything dead! I wonder if they just want to add a bit of colour to their coats. ;-)

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    1. May Bugs are great aren't they?

      I'm not sure Teddy has any sartorial leanings- for him, I suspect good old fashioned smelly dog habits is the answer! 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