Friday, 18 September 2015

Sallow Moths & Chocolate Brownie Recovery

Is it Friday already? 

I have ticked many things off my ginormous list this week (tax return done, half term holiday booked, washing machine man rung to fix washing machine, B&B booked for me and colleague for Dormouse Weekend on the Isle of Wigit, Poppy's bra and the dogs' towel washed, buttons sewn on shorts, hem repaired on trousers, bat survey data put on line, pension form handed in for work, new job app form collected, new zips ordered for crimble present making, apples from the tree put in box by gate for Passing Apple Eaters to help themselves to, college stuff read through, lecture written on dormice ecology for two week's time, next week's session with first years planned, L's resistant materials homework done (if I don't get an 'A' in that GCSE I'll be furious), lost school tie and belt located, sups with old friends booked in diary, newly-emerged small white flutter person released from pupae nursery box, Mark Avery's new book on Driven Grouse Shooting ordered and arrived- called Inglorious, in case you're interested, food shop ordered and General Household Stuff done).

M went to Brussels on Wednesday (4.30am start, very-nearly-midnight return, thanks to a broken-down tube train) and I had my day with the new first years yesterday (6.30am start, 4.30 return). The day went well, although it included a brain-ache-inducing talk with the Lab about how best to approach some water testing we're doing for my dissertation. It was the sort of conversation where you leave knowing less than when you arrived, and pretty confused about what you thought you knew in the first place.

Last night as a result of all of this I had every intention of hitting the gin, but fell asleep on the sofa at 8pm watching the gentle sleuthing of Father Brown instead. This morning I am scoffing salt and vinegar crisps and copious quantities of the squidgy chocolate brownies I made last night instead. I deliberately cut them into tiny squares to give the illusion of not eating many at all. It's very nearly working. 








I had some Mothy Visitors this morning. At long last The Sallows have turned up, with a few Autumn Cousins thrown in (although not literally, that would be awful) for good measure. The Sallows were all fast asleep on the dewy grass and to be honest I nearly trod on them. Disaster was averted but then they all played dead when I scooped them up. A bee who was in the moth box also played dead this morning to such convincing effect that he very nearly became a victim of his own success. Fortunately for him I put him on the electrics box of the moth trap for a minute before disposing of him outside and when I went back to get him he was sitting up cleaning his wings. He's now outside in the hawthorn hedge. Phew. 

I brought the moths in early and they sat on the table having breakfast with M who raised one eyebrow. 'I have to bring them in,' I explained, 'or Herr Robin will get them.' 'Oh,' said M. And then, after a short pause: 'why is the Robin German?'


Here are the Lovely Moths. Leaves have been added to demonstrate the Remarkable Powers Of Camouflage the Sallows (and Thorns) possess...

Sallow and Leaf

Sallows and leaf. They even have the same small dark dots leaves acquire as they degrade. Clever Little Moths :o)

Thorn Moths and leaves (the top one is a leaf, but I think it looks just like the moths. If I were a bird that would be a real puzzler to me).
Sallow
Beaded Chestnut

Lesser Swallow Prominent
Lunar Underwing
The sun is shining here today after a week of rain. Don't know whether it will last but I shall be making the most of it, once I've caught up on your blogs.

Hope you're all having a Good Week,

CT :o)

38 comments:

  1. Everytime I go out the door there seems to be a large yellow underwing engaging in kamikaze activities on the window

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  2. Oh you! Now I want some Brownies. Hmm shops or study? Sounds like a mad week all right, I hope you have a lovely relaxing weekend CT. xx

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    1. Sorry :o) Pictures of food always have that effect on me too! x

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  3. Since following your blog, I'm more aware of the moth population! Your week sounds exhausting...we go at "retired folks" pace. Love your blog!

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    1. That's great, Juliet! I'm so pleased the blog has helped raise awareness of them. Being night-time folk they often get overlooked :o)

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  4. You're list of accomplished tasks is quite impressive! The little moths look quite pretty there, and I did have to take a closer look at that leaf to make sure it was a leaf ;) Glad Mr Bee came to his senses about how far to carry out his fake death. Enjoy your weekend!
    Wendy

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    1. It has been a particularly busy week. Next week looks set to be the same too! Yes, thank goodness the bee moved in time to avoid an unceremonious outside removal! Have a lovely weekend too :o)

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  5. Wow that's some list you've ticked off & I'm laughing quietly to myself over the moth box on the table! Just one question, what is the precise amount of teeny tiny brownies you have left? x

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    1. Urmmm, not all that many left now- hoping the others don't notice! xx

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  6. I've had the most gorgeous moth sleeping on the wall by my side of the bed all week. I took a photo last night so may post it in due course. But, I've just been upstairs to check and it is a Lunar Underwing. How amazing is that? I don't make lists or tick boxes ... But this morning I've been working and sewing and as soon as I've brought the washing in I'm going to drive down to the allotment and pick all the apples from Lord Lambourne and lots of other good things like sweetcorn, squashes, tomatoes raspberries and strawberries, hope it stays dry!

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    1. Goodness- what a coincidence. I was going to suggest it could be a Herald, as they typically come indoors to hibernate. The Lunars are freshly out though so I'm surprised it's been there all week. Sounds like you're having a busy day too. The fruit n veg sound lovely :o)

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  7. The brownies look yummy. Love the Sallow moth and I did think the leaf was a Thorn moth! :-) xx

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  8. Your place is a 'hive' of activity. (Sneaky little bee pun),nothing to complain about (cheeky wee grouse pun) so I guess I'll just leaf (oh, teehee) you alone.
    Jane x

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    1. I tried to think up an equally clever retort but failed, so I'll just wish you a lovely weekend instead! xx

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  9. I could almost snatch those brownies off the screen - and tiny portions fool nobody!

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    1. They were a bit yummy. And now I'm feeling a bit fat! xx

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  10. Lovely post CT - love the Sallow moth. I went trapping in a rural churchyard last night and was hoping for some but no luck. Did get Dusky Thorn and Lunar Underwing though!

    The brownies look delicious :)

    Have been re-reading some of your sewing posts as OH has mentioned the possibility of buying a sewing machine (eek!) - he thinks it will work out cheaper to buy ready made curtains and turn them up yourself than paying someone else to do it or have them made to measure!

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    1. I was smiling like mad when I saw the Sallows this morning- have been waiting for them for the past week or two :o) Next stop a pink-barred and dare I mention, an MDJ or two??
      Interesting about the church yard, guess it would depend on what was around it as to what turned up in the box?

      Excellent news about the sewing machine. I have yet to attempt curtains but am tempted...It would be a whole heap cheaper to make your own :o)

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    2. Meant to add that I uploaded Inglorious to my Kindle a few weeks ago as my gesture towards Hen Harrier Day. Haven't started it yet - still reading In Pursuit of Butterflies, Notes from a Field Edge and Medieval Graffiti. Need an extra 24 hours in each day just to read!!

      There were 5 traps in the churchyard - and we all more or less caught the same few species! MDJ a bit of a sore point as the moth-er there of 20 years produced what he said was one that he'd caught the night before. I was a bit underwhelmed as I was expecting something far more spectacular but having looked at my cropped photo I am sure its Brindled Green and not MdeJ. Unless of course I misheard him :( So still waiting for my first!!

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    3. It sounds more like a brindled - if it didn't make you gasp out loud it probably wasn't an mdj. It's what I always do when I see them here :-) Really every bit as beautiful as the books show. Xx

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  11. Your brownies look delicious, interesting to learn about the moths, very well camouflaged indeed, thankyou for your advice on the caterpillars, have a great weekend Marlene x

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    1. The brownies are a bit nice (too nice). You're v welcome re pillar advice. I'm very jealous you saw so many. I've only ever seen Buff Tip pillars singly when they're looking for somewhere to pupate. I did have a pupa over winter that emerged in the Spring, we dug it up accidentally so I kept it safe until it was ready to become a moth. Very exciting to think you'll have all those lovely Buff Tip moths flying about next spring :o)

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  12. I'm a new reader (hello) and I'm really enjoying your blog. Moths are very beautiful and it's great to learn more about them. I like your approach re the brownies!

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    1. Hello and welcome! Moths are often overlooked, being creatures of the night. I think they deserve a little of the spot light usually reserved for butterflies, they are equally beautiful and just as important.
      I haven't checked the brownie tin this morning- we were out last night but youngest son (14) was home..... :o)

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  13. The list of things you've crossed off of your list of things to do has left me speechless with admiration. I crossed three things off of mine - mend sofa, mend jeans and clean bathroom. (Always a lot of mending to be done around here). How scrumptious that pile of chocolate looks. I note you will be water testing. Is "water" a euphemism perchance? You've made me think about salt and vinegar crisps. I do love crisps. Sigh. Might have to go and eat some myself now. Wishing you and yours a good weekend. Love the image of M and the moths having breakfast together. Am trying to visualise a dog bra. CJ xx

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    1. I have to ask- mend the sofa?? What on earth happened? Sadly, water testing isn't a euphemism. It's testing nitrate levels for the cover crop project :o) SV crisps are my weakness too... Pop's bra is her walking harness. She is so eager on her walks that I worry about her hurting her throat...I'll post a photo, it's easier to explain! Have a great weekend my friend xx

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  14. i wish i knew what my little raggedy moth friend was -- and i Know it was a moth because she [i'm making assumptions] was close enough that i could see the lovely furry antennae. she hovered and flew right beside me, at about hip height [which, for me, isn't terribly high off the ground i suppose!] -- at one point i thought perhaps she wasn't real....which was ridiculous, because who would be playing with a moth puppet out there? -- anyway, she traveled with us [myself and my horsey charge] for most of the way down the path. anyway - i'm scouring the Oracle of Google but have yet to identify her.

    now i know why i'm so tired....your to-do list check-offs have exhausted me. :) i'm glad you rewarded yourself with the brownies....you absolutely earned it.

    enjoy your weekend! xo

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    1. Feathery antennae suggests a 'he', but how lovely to have such a gently, fluttery companion. I bet she/ he made you feel better? Such delicate, light flight, it's mesmerising watching them. Not sure species-wise that you'd get the same over the pond, but white or light moths here are common white wave, light emerald, cream wave, silky wave for starters. XX

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  15. Lovely mothy folk! I am glad that you rescued them from Herr Robin! Although I love that his origin was also questioned! Sounds as though you have been incredibly busy, no wonder you fell asleep watching TV - love Father Brown too by the way! - no doubt T & P enjoyed a snuggle and a nap too! Hope that the weekend will be a little more relaxing and fun than all work! xx

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    1. Father Brown is lovely isn't it? Very gentle. P snuggles with me (on the sofa!) - we've developed a bit of a routine in recent weeks. T is happy because he gets the nice fluffy dog beg! xx

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  16. Goodness, you've been so busy. I hope you find some time to relax over the weekend. Those chocolate brownies look delicious. X

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    1. Lovely weekend here- sun is shining! And there are some brownies still in the tin... :o) x

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  17. Hello CT.. you have been busy..oh my those chocolate brownies look lush.. Mmmmm yummy :o) xx

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    1. They are the sort of cake that gets better the longer you leave them- really squidgy. Unfortunately, they never seem to last very long! x

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  18. I am laughing so hard about the res mat! I did bloody well great at history, science and textiles GCSE with Miss 21!!

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    1. I have to say in fairness to L he is better at homework this year. I have however extended my knowledge of wood quite considerably and expect to do well in that subject in the long run :o) XX

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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