Tuesday, 6 November 2018
Merveille Du Jour
A good friend of mine who knows his moths and flutters sent me an email the other day entitled 'Clifden nonpareil' with the information that these rare moths had begun arriving in Hampshire, as they sometimes do at this time of year, having flown over the sea, and was I going to be putting my moth box out to try and attract one by any chance?
I replied that I had not used the moth box for a while, because I had become concerned by the level of collateral damage it inflicts on other species, particularly honey bees who always seemed to fly into it and die.
I have to admit though that I was tempted, just to put it out for one night and see whether I could entice one of these beautiful moths in. They aren't much to look at with their wings closed, being a fairly uniform grey, but when they open them, oh my! The lilac beneath is amazing.
I had almost persuaded myself, especially as there aren't so many other flying folk about now the cooler weather is here and also because it is Merveille time of the year and I haven't seen a Merveille for years.
Anyway, long story short, I was contemplating putting the box out for a night but not feeling altogether comfortable about it when we went out to supper and M accidentally left the bathroom light on. When we got home after a lovely evening I went up to the bathroom to turn the light off and guess who I almost trod on?
A Merveille Du Jour, sitting right there on the shower mat! I couldn't believe it. He'd come in through the open window attracted by the bathroom light. They are very obliging moths as you can see from the fact he sat happily on my finger for photos for ages (after playing a very convincing dead and keeling over with his legs in the air for about ten minutes). You shouldn't have favourites, I know, but I have to admit these have always been one of mine.
Anyway, it answered the question of whether or not I should light the moth box lamp- nature had been gracious and sent one of my favourite moths to me (moths which are not universally seen) without anyone else getting harmed, it would be both greedy and churlish to ask for more. I've been lucky enough to see Clifden's here in the past so I know they do come to the garden and that is enough for me this year.
Hope all are well?