Thursday, 18 July 2013

Some More Moths & The After Effects of Migraines.

I've been abed with the after effects of a migraine today so haven't been out and about to see my usual range of birds, mice, snakes, plants and Other Assorted Wild Things. It's been stinkingly hot. It's now nearly 5pm and this is what the thermometer in the bedroom is reading...

Surely that is Indecently Hot and Shouldn't Be Allowed, particularly in a poorly person's bedroom?

I've put the forced inactivity (grrr, I am NOT good at that) to good use and sorted through the moths on the computer - pictures you understand, not actual moths. Although in this house anything is possible, as M's colleagues would testify following a conversation we had yesterday. I rang him (in the middle of a meeting as it happened) to tell him Ted had disemboweled the snake and ask his advice on the quickest way of putting it out of it's misery cleanly if it came to it. 
"It's been disemboweled?" M considered the options for a moment. "I'd get a spade and behead it," he decided at last. Becoming aware of a sudden and complete silence in the room he looked round and saw jaws dropped and faces strained in sheer astonishment. "It's alright," he reassured them hastily, "it's my wife, wanting to know how to kill a snake."

I think they think we are quite mad, or else a modern day incarnation of Tom and Barbara. M said there was nervous laughter and a tentative half-joke-but-I'm-not-entirely-sure-you-wouldn't "I suppose you're going to have it for supper?" in reply. We didn't, although I did once consider bringing home a deer I saw run over. After ringing a hunter friend I decided against it because apparently animals hit by cars are usually more bruise than healthy meat. There is, however, a lady in the village known as Road Kill Rachel who cheerfully scoops up any poor dead creature she finds on the side of the road (with complete disregard for how long it has been there) and serves it for dinner. M told me this after we'd eaten a meal at her house. 

I don't go there anymore. 

She is also the same person who once bought a frying pan with a hole in it from a charity shop because it was only 2p, and a single shoe.

I've got side-tracked. Where was I? Oh yes, in the absence of anything New and Exciting to impart, I though I would post some of the moths I've yet to show you. It turns out the hornet from the other day was actually a type of moth called a Clearwing Hornet- how astonishing is that? As I mislabeled him yesterday I'm including him in his proper place here. 

The moth box will be out tonight (I was planning to do it last night but was comatose with flashing lights and splitting head and fear of paralysis - fortunately unfounded, this time, although it used to happen too often for comfort. I have been migraine-free for a couple of years now so I think the culprit was greengage jam from Waitrose, which will teach me for Trying To Be Posh At Breakfast). Doubtless there will be more Interesting Moths to show you over the weekend. In the mean time here are some new ones...

Mullein Wave 
(on the wall downstairs this morning, which cheered me up no end)

Clearwing Hornet  
I love him now I know he isn't a hornet and we don't need to be frightened of him anymore. Presumably this will alter Lou and Seagull Suzie's affections for him too? Lou will no longer need to do her wasp dance, and Suze can stop fearing for her curtains

Blue Bordered Carpet
I've just realised what he's sitting on - it's a Waitrose recipe card!
 "Try this recipe with diced moth..."
We really aren't eating them I promise, I just find the recipe cards brilliant for scooping moths into pots. BTW, if anyone from Waitrose is reading this blog and feels inclined to reward me for all the free publicity you've had here this week, Moet is my absolute favourite type of champagne, and very cooling in heat waves I understand if you put it in the freezer for an hour or two first. Also, apparently it's bang on as a healing treatment for people who have recently suffered migraines.... ;-)

On with the moths....

Brown China Mark

Dingy or Buff Footman?


Ear Moth (I think)

Early Thorn 
(one of very few moths who rest with wings up)

V Pug

Ghost Swift (female- the males are white)

Garden Tiger, head on. 
Goodness! He's a bit dusty: not a good advert for my house-keeping skills :-(

Poplar Grey

Mottled Rustic

Small Rivulet

Small Fan Foot 
(different from the regular version because the final band curves down to the point of the wing. Hark at me, sounding like I know what I'm talking about...)

Small Fan Footed Wave

Small Dotted Buff

Slender Brindle

Pyrausta Purpuralis

Scalloped Shell

Lilac Beauty 

Barred Straw

(I thought he looked a little like a sideways view of a hedgehog. That's HEDGEHOG Denise, not PHEASANT...)

Clay Fan Foot

Waved Black


 Poplar Hawk head on. 

As usual, if anyone spots any ID errors I'd be v grateful for correct corrections.

The culpits who were busy snacking on the moths outside the moth box the last time it was out have struck again, not moths this time - strawberries! Yes, you are very adorable and you know I have a soft spot for you, being as how you remind me of my baby girl Apple (see this post) but stealing strawberries is as naughty as stealing moths. 

As bold as brass this morning, she hopped right up onto the step in front of the house which is where the berry plants are, nicked a green strawberry, and scooted off to the twisted willow to enjoy the contraband, hoping no-one could see her, but she hadn't counted on my long-lensed camera and me hanging out of the bedroom window to get the evidence. Honestly!


There are three Blackbird Children in the garden right now and I will forgive them the odd stolen strawberry because they've been sitting beneath my bedroom window twittering and bubbling all day, which has been rather wonderful to listen to while I'm on enforced bed rest.

Back to normal tomorrow.

Hope all's well with all of you,

CT x


  1. The poplar half looks like a poodle!

    1. He does! But surely the Poplar Grey is the moth for you, John? ;-)

  2. Oh poor you, hope you feel better soon.
    My Dr Who moth looked a bit like an ear moth, but darker, and huge. Body broader than a pencil. Stealth bomber like in shape. Not what you'd want in your ear at all.

    1. Did it have a yellow underwing? If it did it was probably....a large yellow underwing ;-)

      They are quite long and large, generally brown, but have a flash of colour when they fly. You wouldn't want one in your ear for sure :-)

  3. A hedgehog? Looks like a moth to me...(and I am not wholly sure of the ethics surrounding the use of moths as household cleaning implements, either.)

    Truly sorry to hear you are under par at the moment and thusly I send you some healing waves to aid your recovery process.

    Likewise I am tres impressed with your industry even whilst feeling under par, but then there is no keeping a go-getter from go-getting, is there? A speedy recovery,then, towards your full tour de force!

    (Daisy Hen had our last strawberries. I told her off. She said, 'So what?')

    1. No, you're right- the Poplar Hawk would make a far more efficient duster, being fluffier.

      Daisy Hen and Ruby ought to pair up, except they would be a double force-to-be-reckoned-with. If I ever tell Rubes off for anything she looks at me as if I have gone mad, shrugs and carries on with whatever naughty thing she was doing.

      Is it just me or has anyone else got Goldfinches twinkling outside at the mo. And before you ask, a "twinkle" is the correct terminology for the sound a goldfinch makes

  4. Yes plenty of Goldfinches in the garden and I love their twinkling! I think someone should rename the poor moth called Pyrausta Purpuralis-that's just mean! Hope your head clears soon.

    1. The goldfinches must be on a resurgence then - they're twinkling like mad here.
      Yes poor old Pyrausta. Some moths have such pretty names, and others...well!

  5. I'm loving your moths, even though they're different from ours - your project is amazing and inspiring.

    Hope the migraine improves - I can't imagine how unpleasant that must be.

    1. Hi Kate :-)

      Ooh I'd love to see some American moths if you get the chance?

      Head feeling clearer today thank you :-)

  6. Well done on the Hornet Clearwing - feeling rather green :) I have thought of buying pheromone lures to try and attract Clearwing species!

    Hope your head feels better soon. My husband gets migraines and they are awful things to suffer.

    1. D'you know he just flew into the house! I was amazed. I had seen them in Wainwright's but hadn't put two and two together until Jon at ALS kindly emailed me. V pleased to have seen one- just wish I'd known what he was at the time so could have admired him more!
      I sympathise with your hubby, the blasted things usually knock me out for a couple of days.

  7. Another amazing haul! I like the Purple one best....I'm not going to scroll back up and read the Latin, scroll back down and find I've already forgotten what it was. Senility is moving on!

    1. Ditto that Em!

      I thought you might like that one- the colour is superb isn't it?

  8. Once again such an amazing variety of pretty moths! And much better photos than my awful attempts! I realllly like the scalloped shell and the lilac beauty! I'm very glad the wasp was indeed a species of clearwing! I probably would have still done my wasp dance just due to it's appearance.

    I do hope you haven't suffered any more migraines since this post! I've never had one but I know that they are pretty debilitating!


Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x