Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Knitting and Moths And Books

In complete contrast to yesterday we have bright sunshine here this morning and the world is glistening. I've just been watching a tiny wee spider flying through the air on the end of his gossamer-thin, fine strand of web. He looked like a miniature, eight-legged, rotund Tarzan as he swung serenely between two trees, carried along by the faint stirrings in the air.

The air inside the house felt stale, so I threw open all the windows. Are you a windows open or windows closed type of person? We are windows open people. At night, in the heart of winter, through tearing storms. Can't bear to have windows closed and not be breathing cool, fresh, clean air.

It is getting cold here at night. I am pondering replacing the summer quilt with the winter blanket I knitted last year. M scorns extra blankets on the bed, but then he never feels the cold, whereas I have been known to sleep in a hat. The heating was on last night for the first time and we had a fire.

The moths that are out now are hardy souls, capable of surviving rain and wind and frost and cold. I feel my admiration for them surge every autumn when the butterflies tuck up and they just Carry On Regardless. 

We had a Frosted Orange arrive here last night. I am always pleased to see them. They are beautiful, no? And if ever there was a good reason not  to cut down plants you may conceive as weeds in your garden these moths are it. They need thistles, burdocks, foxgloves, ragwort, mullein and figworts in order to survive. The moth overwinters as an egg on the food plant and the caterpillar feeds inside the stalks where it also pupates. All good reasons not to cut these plants back if you have them in your garden. Maybe leave a small area where you're happy for them to grow? You'll find Frosted Orange moths all over the UK and they are out from now until October.



There was also a Plume moth in the greenhouse. I think probably a Common Plume. These are out from Sept-May and feed on bindweed. Another plant often considered a weed :o)
 

There were a couple more Sallows in the box, fresh as daisies. These moths lay their eggs on Sallow and Poplars and the larvae feed inside the catkins in Spring. Later they feed on docks. They are widespread across the UK and are flying from now until October.
 

The Small Whites I collected as caterpillars are still emerging as adult flutters from the pupae. This is not what I expected them to do. I thought they would go through the winter and emerge next year. Perhaps they know something we don't and the weather will have a final fling of warmth? They have all been emerging in the late afternoon which is the opposite of what I expected them to do. It must be a survival strategy- perhaps they figure sitting tight through the night gives them a better chance in the morning of making it to a flower and taking in nectar, but that means they have the entire night after emerging without feeding and in cold temperatures too. Curious. They are still alive in the morning so it is working.
 

With the nights drawing in, my thoughts are turning towards knitting, which is a Winter Occupation for me. I have a nice thick warm scarf to continue making (doesn't take long with such fat needles)...


And a heathery-shades blanket made of different squares for the sofa...


There are also books to be read. These are not pick up and read cover to cover in one go type books for me- I tend to dip in and out of them...


 
Perhaps I shall take a few with me when we venture on to a Narrow Boat in a few week's time. The entire clan is going to celebrate my ma-in-law's 80th. There will be sixteen of us split between two Narrow Boats. The children have already begun putting forward their case for commandeering an entire Narrow Boat to themselves. What's not to worry about with that, eh?

There is an eighty year gap between the oldest and the youngest of us, although admittedly it can be a little hard to tell sometimes which is which. My FIL was busy pogo-ing with his grandchildren on his 80th- we had a laugh thinking about how he would explain any injury sustained from falling off the pogo stick in A&E. 

I've never been Narrow-Boating but have always thought it looked like a peaceful way to travel along water. I suspect I have vaguely Viking roots so perhaps I shall feel at home? I shall take knitting and books and the camera and binoculars and if I get fidgety at the lack of activity I shall jump onto the tow path and run up and down for a while :o) 

I'll leave you with a couple of shots of the Black-Eyed Susans which are flowering profusely  and wish you all a peaceful day,



CT :o)

26 comments:

  1. Now this narrow bat holiday wil be good for you. The way life is on an narrow boat is a lot slower than you are used to so chill out, relax, no running up and down the towapth disturbing everyone else's peace. It is the most peaceful calming holiday I have ever had. Enjoy it. Love the Moth shots

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    1. That's nice to know, Margaret. I think you know me too well! I will try to only run up and down the tow path when no one else is there :o) x

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  2. When my parents retired to a house on the river they bought a little wooden 'sleeping boat' as my children called it. To distinguish it from sailing boats I guess. Anyway they used to travel the length and breadth of our inland waterways on this boat, called 'Tide End'. I have to confess whenever I was aboard I got a bit fidgety unless there was a lock to work but I can see with knitting and bird watching I might find it bearable now. All windows open here and having been hard at it since daybreak I'm now going for my 10 mile cycle followed by a quick session at the allotment and then home to sew. It is lovely to see blue sky isn't it?

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    1. What a lovely thing to do. I found myself thinking about rivers this morning as I drove over the Test and how they flow through our lovely land, like watery veins connecting places. Also how little we think about them now when bridges are everywhere and they no longer represent the boundaries they once did.

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  3. Hey CT,
    I think my comment on your last post went awol, so I'm very glad that you are feeling more yourself today. In short, I gave you a telling off for not taking the advice of the quack, and to rest up with tea and biscuits. I have read Meadowland, and thought it wonderful. I think you will enjoy it very much. I went on a narrow boat holiday in my early twenties. There were about twenty of us on two boast on the Norfolk Broads. How none of us drowned I'll never know. We were drunk the whole holiday.
    Leanne xx

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    1. Nope, I got it :o) Copious quantities of biscuits have been consumed! I am surprised you didn't drown too. A book has already been opened on who will be the first to fall in :o( xx

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  4. Can you see the shade of green I have turned? My dream vacation is an autumn narrow boat trip...you lucky duck!
    Have heaps of fun.and lots of piccies please!
    Jane x

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    1. I can see it all the way from here :o) I will take piccies, I am looking forward to it :o) x

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  5. Hmmm, I'd have thought the small whites would winter as eggs or pupae as well

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    1. I've seen lots around this week so it isn't just mine. Curious.

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  6. I'm a windows open person too, especially in Autumn/Winter. It's so nice to sit under a cosy blanket while the crisp air fills the room.
    I don't think I've ever seen a Plume moth before, what an odd character.

    Your book collection looks wonderful. I might have to give some a read myself.
    Hope you're not feeling as concussed today! :)

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  7. definitely a windows open person. 'til the bitter end of autumn, then i have to seal the leaky windows against the wintry assaults.

    send your Plume friends over to my house...the bindweed would have us all in its clutches if we stood still long enough. ;)

    xo

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    1. I wonder if you've got plumes there already? x

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  8. Windows open here, unless of course its absolutely freezing, I can't stand stuffy rooms.
    Briony
    x

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  9. I found a Plume moth last night along the side of s busy carriageway. We found a moth last week on ragwort up in sand dunes in Murlough but so far we can't identify it. It had lovely markings greyish, I have photo but wish it had opened its wings to help with ID. Your blog is fantastic. So pleased I found it

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    1. Hi Beverley and welcome :o) Try googling Hants Moths what's flying tonight. They have a page of pictures for current moths that may help.

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  10. Frosted orange, what an exquisite name. Narrow boating sounds fantastic, although the thought of my littlest boy loose on a boat sends shivers up my spine. I imagine it could be very peaceful though. I'm laughing at the idea of a boat for the younger people. The party boat! Oh yes, nothing at all wrong with that suggestion. We get lots of plume moths, they're wonderful aren't they. Lots of bindweed here and at the plot too. CJ xx

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    1. I am having similar kittens at the thought of mine let loose on it too :o) x

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  11. Hope you have a great time on the boat and with the family! Me, I am either boiling or freezing. Nothing in between. No heating on yet, I wish it was. Perhaps after the weekend! Definitely a fan of extra and many blankets on the bed though! xx

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    1. I'm like that too Amy. Although more often chilly than warm! I layer up so much in winter, it's the only way to fight off the chills :o) xx

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  12. Really pretty moths, I hope I get some of them! I am not surprised that the Small Whites are still eclosing and I think they do overwinter as pupae, but they are still laying eggs on my brassicas so their season is far from over!
    Definitely windows shut here as I have a drafty old house and it gets down to 13c in our bedroom and there is no heating in our room when we are heating with the woodburner downstairs. If we do have the ch on then it would need to be on 24/7 to get our bedroom up to a decent warmth, and with the price of propane that will never happen. However this house has never, ever been stuffy! Btw we survive by having electric blankets which are a godsend..... :-) xx

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    1. Haven't seen any egg laying going on here but I suppose they must be- no time now I wouldn't have thought to hatch out and pupate before winter. Very Strange,

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  13. Hope you are fully recovered from your knock on the head. What a great way to celebrate a 80th birthday! We went on a weeks boat trip up the Thames it was a lovely way to travel. Will there be many locks? Sarah x

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    1. Not sure about the locks- hope so otherwise I think I could get bored quite quickly! 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