Thursday, 22 October 2015

A Lesson In Camouflage, And In Making Very Rich Puddings

Ma looked at the Merveille Du Jour pics from the other day and said it looked like it was covered in Moss. They are adapted to Oak trees, and blend in with lichen. Every time I see one of these lovely moths (about once a year in October) I tell myself I must photograph it on lichen to show how amazing the camo is. Anyway, ma's comment was the prompt I needed and here are the results (courtesy of our lovely old Apple Tree who wears his lichen patches Very Handsomely)....


Even though I was expecting it to be good, once I'd taken my eyes off the MDJ and then tried to find it again I really struggled (to the extent I had a small panic and worried that a bird might have hopped down and pinched it while my back was turned).



Step back a few feet and it completely disappears, even when you know where it is. Remarkable.


 Can you find it?


Putting them against the background they're adapted for just shows how brilliantly clever the camo is. Autumn moths seems particularly good at camouflaging themselves. Here's a Pink Barred Sallow which shows up clearly against the brown leaf, but would be hard to spot among a pile of the orangey/brown ones...

 
 A few others who have come over to say hello this week include...

Satellite

Brick

Common Marbled Carpet

Yellow-Line Quaker

I found a toadlet this week, under the refugia which I keep in the garden for our snakes. A tiny little fellow, he tried to bury himself in the soil and then when that didn't work, settled for peeing on me instead :o)



Poppy, in particular, was very interested in him. She didn't get any opportunity for mischief though, because she'd snatched one of my moths earlier and pegged it into the garden with jaws clamped shut, the little monkey, and I was watching her closely. She was soundly told off for Moth Gate, but as usual my admonishments bounced off her. This is the possibly the reason why she decided to drag her blanket out of her bed and tow it round the house, making a Jack Russell Point....
 

I'll leave you with a pud I made up and threw together from leftovers over the weekend. Salted Caramel Raspberry Doughnut Bake. I warn you: it is VERY rich, VERY fattening, VERY full of cream and sugar, so best avoided if you're on a diet, otherwise, go for it.

1. Take a bunch of (stale but fresh will do) raspberry doughnuts, rip them up and put them in an oven proof dish. Sprinkle some raspberries over and around them.


2. In a saucepan, melt 300ml double cream, 175g soft brown sugar, 50g butter and 1/2 tsp salt. Stir to make sure it's all melted and folded in together.
3. Pour over the donut and raspberries.
4. Cook at 150 degrees for 20 mins or until the donuts go crispy on the top.
5. Eat with ice cream.


Admittedly, it doesn't look all that pretty in the dish because the lighting wasn't great for photos and, it has to be said, the dish is also a wee bit on the old side (about 35!) and bares the noble scars of a lifetime's use, but believe me, it is YUM. And dead easy to make, which is always a bonus. 

I'll leave you with our Nuthatch, who is loving the bird feeders all being back out in the garden...


And wish you all a Happy Thursday.

CT :o)
 

44 comments:

  1. I can almost taste that pudding mmmmm, all it needs is clotted cream, a spoon and me.

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    1. Hee hee- more cream, that's my kind of girl :o)

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  2. The photos of the moth on the lichen are fascinating. Nature at its best!

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  3. The camouflage is fantastic-nature is just so wonderful. I'm looking forward to your moth posts again. I used to have lots of toadlets in the last garden and it was always a joy to find them.

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    1. I do think of you whenever a furry moth appears (in a nice way- you know what I mean!).

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  4. Hey CT,
    The best puds always look rather unassuming I reckon. I love the moth. I'm going to have to inspect the lichen far more closely.
    Leanne xx

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    1. I've just seen the lichen on your blog and found myself eyeballing it to look for an MDJ. I think I am possibly a little too obsessed? xx

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    2. A couple of weeks ago I took a pic of a fern, and was zooming on it in order to do a fancy close up shot. Imagine my surprise when a teeny moth came into focus! You just can't see it in the original photo, and would never know it was there. Oh and I spent a long while inspecting lichen covered branches this morning. I forgot my glasses though, so it was really all in vain!
      L xx

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    3. I did the same out walking the dogs this morning- stood with my hands on my hips in the middle of a field by an ancient hedge staring at the oak branches. Didn't find any MDJs but reckoned the hedge could be 700-800 years old, judging from the species. It feels like ancient woodland remnant to me. Well done on your teeny tiny moth hiding in the fern- wonder what it was? XX

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  5. I take it that you don't have a problem with cholesterol
    then ?

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    1. I expect it's on it's way, but what the heck :o)

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    2. Oops- apostrophe sneaked in on the wrong its then...

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  6. I would never have seen that Moth in the Lichen if you had not pointed it out. Fantatic moth images

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  7. Oh CT, I think I just fell a bit deeper in love with you! THAT PUDDING!!! Just the title alone is a winner! And everyone knows the minute you rip a jam doughnut up, the calories fall out.

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    1. Excellent, so it isn't that fattening after all then? XX

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  8. What a divine pud, I am insanely jealous. No husband (back tomorrow) work, kids & a peeved dog to deal with I really need that pud. The whole bowl you understand with two tubs of clotted cream! Isn't that moth amazing against the lichen!! xx

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    1. I bought a bag of doughnuts for a quid, a pot of cream for 80p, it took seconds to make (well, minutes if you count the cooking time) and we stuffed ourselves with it for three nights in a row! Go get some ingredients tomorrow, lovely lady, sounds like you've earnt it XX

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  9. The way the moths camouflage is so clever, and that little toad is just so cute. I love the Nuthatch picture, I am getting very despondent, still no luck with the birds here, I have seen the Robin coming in to get spiders from the tree, I have suet, mealworms, chopped nuts, sunflower hearts and seed out, but no takers, hubby keeps saying don't worry they will come when its cold, and when they find it there will be no stopping them, I really hope so I really love to watch them x

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    1. It may just be that there is enough other food round about. They'll come once the winter weather sets in and they're hungry.

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  10. Brilliant camouflage demo. They really are amazing creatures. I found a baby toad in my garden on Tues but it hopped of into the undergrowth pretty sharpish. Your pudding. Well. Might have to try that one...

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    1. I don't think I've seen camo quite that good before- it proper vanished before my eyes.

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  11. Astonishing camouflage, it really is. Dear Poppy, the trouble is those moths are just so tasty. Love the old pudding bowl, the well used ones are the best. I like to think of all the puddings/life they have seen. The pudding sounds exactly my kind of thing, especially the speed at which it can be made. Very impressed that it lasted three nights. And very happy that other people also think that clotted cream is an excellent thing. CJ xx

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    1. Clever moth eh? I was thinking of all the puds the bowl has made too and all the happy eating occasions. Xx

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  12. I had to peer hard to find the moth. Toads are funny creatures, I love the way they crawl across the soil like babies, much less alarming than hopping frogs. Did I tell you about the time I picked up a beautiful stone in my garden and lo and behold it was a toad. I'm thinking a warm pud with raspberries might be rather nice.

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    1. I had a giggle about your toad- stone. Ted licks them and makes himself sick!

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  13. The pudding sonds lovely.
    I make a overnight pudding sort of like that. The addition of clotted cream sounds wonderful.
    What a tiny beautiful nuthatch what is she standing on, Is the food inside the shell ?

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. They're suet and meal worm stuffed coconut halves. The birds love them :-)

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  14. Wow, that camouflage was something else! Thank goodness you added a close-up - otherwise I wouldn't have seen him at all:)
    Have you heard of Dachshound Points? I can report that they work equally as well as Jack Russel Points...haha:)

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    1. Clever little moth, isn't it? I'm assuming Dachshound points are vert similar to JR points :o) x

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    2. that should read 'very' not 'vert'! x

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  15. Goodness! Camo Moth is something else...could teach the military a thing or two! Nick name Military Moth...he is very beautiful and the lichen on the tree is such an amazing back drop. Good for Ma to prompt the photo!
    JR show casing their ability to be centre of attention...our JR X gets his squeaky toy out when he is in attention seeking mode!!
    I am on a diet so I quickly passed over that photo. Looks yum though! I'm on a low carb, low fat diet to tone up for summer! Say the word DIET - which translates to Did I eat that???? and come Monday the happy process starts again..weekends are notoriously hard to stick to any weight loss program...Friday is for a end of week wine and nibble while the dinner is cooking...Saturday is for a cheesy ploughman's lunch and Sunday....yummy brekkie. Diet - pah..awful word!!!

    Happy weekend CT...and enjoy the autumn air.
    xx

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    1. Did you know the military developed dazzle camouflage after moths? I sympathise about the diet- weekends are impossible to stick to! I am off wine these days, it doesn't agree with me anymore. Actually basically off booze full stop, but I fee better for it so it's worth it :o) Have a lovely weekend my friend (feels so weird that you're preparing for summer as we're heading towards winter!) xx

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    2. Thank you...yes the topsy turvey season down under is weird. I have to say I dislike Christmas here...it's just NOT the same. It doesn't make sense at all. I keep some very low key traditions for my two children...but the rest of the day we have to adapt to the Aussie style of eating cold food as the weather is so hot. Sometimes I'm tempted to light the fire and put the air con on.....Hee hee.
      Alcohol doesn't really agree with me either, my one glass of red wine I save for Friday night. Its such a treat and luckily my husband knows his wines and we are surrounded by vineyards here on the peninsula, so I drink a good drop.
      I've lost a few pounds, so I am still motivated :-)
      Start my Uni course tomorrow...excited to get going.
      Love to you...happy week xxx

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  16. Amazing.....I did find the moth but have to say it took a little while.
    It is incredibly beautiful.

    The toadlet is wonderful, I have never seen one in the wild....they are actually very sweet.
    Glad Poppy did not get him/her.........

    Cute though she is :)

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    1. They are one of the (or perhaps the) most spectacularly marked of all British moths. I always feel honoured to have seen one. :o)

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  17. SORRY! I've only just seen the comment you left on my blog in September. Yes I'm ok, thankyou, I just don't know where the last twelve months have gone to. I will make the effort to post something. I have been keeping up with the antics of Poppy though and your wonderful nature posts. Doohie xxx

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    1. Hey Doohie- so glad you left a comment and to know that all is OK. Time does get away, doesn't it? xx

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  18. Interesting to see that nuthatch on the coconut. I buy a coconut every week and hang it in the rowan outside our kitchen window - I buy it on the market on a Friday and it is usually all gone by Tuesday - how the birds love it.

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    1. It's a half coconut shell filled with suet and mealworms- interesting to hear your birds like the actual coconut. It's probably a deal cheaper than buying the filled stuff. I may have to get one at the market tomorrow and experiment :o)

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  19. Superb camouflage of the MdJ :) Must try that desert - although doughnuts disappear very quickly here so would have to buy an extra bag!

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    1. Aren't they impressive? Donuts rarely last long here either- the freezer is the best deterrent :o)

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  20. Those mothy folk really do blend in so well don't they!!! Nature is incredible. That pudding looks delicious. Wouldn't work here though, any doughnuts would immediately be eaten - even if bought specially!!! 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