Friday, 17 October 2014

Soggy Moths, Lacewings, Crane Flies And Poppy Is In Trouble....AGAIN

It tipped it down here last night, but I was assured by my Private Weather Forecaster that the rain, although heavy, would be intermittent, so I put the moth box out and crossed my fingers. 

It was warm, despite the fat blobs of rain that came pelting down, and when I looked outside the light of the lamp revealed lots of flitty things buzzing about.
Moths (I thought in excitement).

Caddis flies, as it turns out.

There were hundreds of them of all shapes and sizes. They have either just emerged from the pond or else they are invading from another planet and planning on Taking Over.

I don't mind Caddis flies. To be honest, you can't be a moth'er and mind them, because you always end up getting lots of them in the box. They leap and crawl and flit about, get stuck on your clothes and generally get in the way so I am used to them, but this morning's collection was something else. I've never seen so many in one place before.

There were also a fair few Green Lacewings among the Caddis people, including a number of pale Yellow ones I got very excited about, thinking it was a New Species. But when I checked I learnt that Chrysoperla carnea (to give the Green Lacewing its proper name) turns flesh-coloured just before hibernation, which they often spend inside houses.They are the only Lacewing species to hibernate.

D'you remember the little insignificant ball of fluff I found in the Goat Willow earlier this summer? That was a baby Lacewing....

There were also Daddy Long Legs (Crane flies) in the box. We call them fumbly bumbly wumblies here, which will make perfect sense if you've ever watched them flying around a room. I seem to spend a considerable proportion of my life during late summer/ early autumn rescuing them from various spider webs in our bedroom, only to watch them fly straight back into them again. They hatch out of worm-like larvae that live in the earth of your lawn. You'll find lots of empty black skins among the grass at this time of year if you look closely- those are Crane Fly exuvia.

After sorting all of those people out I was hard pressed to find any actual moths in the box. In the end I counted 18 species totalling 28 moths, 3 of which were new for the year. My moth count now stands at 290, so 21 to go to equal last year's record.

Here are last night's offerings:

Blair's Shoulder Knot

Common Marbled Carpet

Four Spotted Footman (male)

Frosted Orange

Green Brindled Crescent

Red Green Carpet
Some other shots from round the garden....The Corncockles have started sprouting inside their seed heads. Presumambly it's these warm, wet, conditions, perfect for germinating.....

And this is a plant my FIL gave us, which is very pretty but each bloom only lasts a day....

In other news, I have bought a stats book to help with my classes this year. M asked me whether I would get my money back if it made me cry. I said if it made me cry it would find itself hitting the wall at great speed. He is now proposing to read it 'for fun.' Clearly, there is something wrong with him. I am proposing to read it with an enormous glass of wine.

Pop has been getting in to Quite A Lot of trouble recently. She has taken to peeing in the hall whenever it rains because she can't be bothered to go out. This sends M into apoplexy. The last time this happened he sat her down and had a long conversation with her about how she is a big girl now that she is one, and she knows she has to wee outdoors, and that weeing indoors shows a complete lack of respect. Poppy's answer to this lecture was to scamper off immediately afterwards and do a poo on the new carpet.

She has eaten the back off both  L's school shoes. I have been forced to trim them with scissors so his teachers don't notice the chewed bits because I'm buggered  blowed if I'm going to buy a new pair of shoes at forty quid a pop while the old ones still fit. In addition to this she has destroyed a section of the skirting board, ripped up an expensive vet's book I was planning on putting on ebay, destroyed three pens and two pencils, bitten chunks of a chewy toy I bought her which prides itself on being indestructable AND run off with a Caddis fly in her chops this morning despite me telling her not to.
On the plus side, it is ages since she rolled in any fox poo, but seen as she comes back from her walks covered in mud and smelling like a compost heap there is no need really.
Her favourite game at the moment is to hide one of her toys under the new sofa throw and wriggle behind it until she's all but hidden from view, then when anyone goes past she rushes forward and grabs you, scaring the life out of you in the process. I have come to the conclusion that JRs are Very Clever Dogs. If she's been naughty (let's face it, when) she pats your leg with her paws and rests her head sideways on your leg and gazes adoringly up at you. I am putty in her paws when she does this but it doesn't work on M and it is very funny to watch her keep it up for a good five minutes before she gives up and disappears off to create havoc and mayhem elsewhere.

Teddy, in his turn, has developed a particular 'Poppy's doing something naughty, mum' communication, which he uses whenever he feels she needs either rescuing or telling off. He will suddenly appear and sit down right in front of me and stare at me very intently while his ears go up and down. If I don't respond straight away he gives a sharp, impatient and urgent yelp and starts hopping from paw to paw. It was only because he came to tell me about it that I knew she'd escaped under the fence and was on the road last week, and as a result I was able to get her back safely before she'd been squished by a car. He also does this if she's gone upstairs (out of bounds to dogs), or if she's run off with something he knows she shouldn't have. Dear Teddy, I don't know what I'd do without him.
I had a new patient this week who hasn't met either of the dogs before. She took one look at Pop who was cleaning the windows with her paws and said that one looks like the world's naughtiest dog. How very perceptive of you, I said.

Here she is, planning her Next Move....

Hope you've all had a good day. The Weekend Is Here!

CT :o)


  1. I love the lace wings! Awwwww butter wouldn't melt :)

    1. Lacewings are such pretty insects. I've seen quite a few this year thanks largely to the moth box. And yes, butter wouldn't melt and doesn't she know it? :o)

  2. What. A good read, quite mild still so you should reach your moth count.

    1. It's getting tight in terms of species because there are only a few new ones still to come season-wise. I definitely had some last summer that haven't appeared this year, whether that's because the box wasn't out at the right time, or because numbers are down remains to be seen. It'll be interesting to compare by the end of the year x

  3. It's terrible to have such a naughty pet and they really do some damage too. I have a cat a bit like Pops and it can be very annoying but then they melt your heart! Love Lacewings and the Frosted Orange is a beautiful moth.

    1. We're hoping she'll grow out of it, but I sometimes wonder! She only has to hop on my lap, curl in a ball and fall asleep for me to forgive her :o) x

  4. Well I was enjoying all the beautiful moths but Poppy has completely upstaged them all and has me in stitches. It can be annoying and scary (especially if they escape) but don't they just melt your heart?!

    1. She manages to upstage everyone here quite frequently, Shauna- most noticeably L who had come in to say goodnight yesterday when she suddenly launched herself at him and licked the end of his nose. He collapsed in giggles so she jumped on his stomach and did it again. Clever little thing- she does play to her audience. x

  5. Love the Frosted Orange - I've never had one here. Hoping to trap tonight as it looks dry and mild!! I had a Jack Russell years ago and they really can be naughty but very loyal dogs and great fun :) Have a good weekend.

    1. They are one of my most favourite moths. Good luck with trapping tonight- I am tempted too, as it is Merveille season :o)

      Poppy has the sweetest nature, never bites or growls or is grumpy, just incredibly naughty. I think this is because she is clever :o)

  6. Definitely the JR in her. Jack is NOTHING like Snippet, who has always been a prefect angel, or at least that's how we like to remember it. There are some pretty major crimes on that list though and I can see why M is frustrated! Pooing and weeing not good. I don't envy you there. I find Jack is much more difficult to train generally than Snip in that, he'll do it for the treat until he fancies not doing it and then looks surprised when you get cross!

    Love that green lacewing by the way; I've never seen one before. xxx

    1. I remember Teddy's puppyhood as being perfect too, but I'm sure it can't have been. I reckon he benefits from Poppy's naughtiness in terms of our recollection of him! xx

  7. Oh Poppy!!!! What a naughty little JR. It's lucky she is so charming and adorable, and can get away with it. How old is she? We once had a JR from a puppy and she was a terror (albeit a lovely one) until she was about 3. I missed those years with Flossy as she was already a mature lady when she came to me, but I would give anything to have had her from a puppy...I do love the sound of Poppy - please give her a hug from me. Lily x

    1. She's only one! So another two years to go before sensibleness sets in.... When she is being at her most naughty I do sometimes think of Flossy and how nice it must be to have a sensible JR :o) Wouldn't change her though, and once she has had a bath and it's therefore safe to do so without catching something I will give her your hug :o) xx


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