Sunday, 10 July 2011
Nature wild in tooth and claw (and wing).
6.30am on a cool July Sunday morning. Watery blue sky with quite a lot of cloud. Promise of heavy showers. The farmer is out in the fields, walking the dogs on his early morning route.
As he comes back under the Scots pines he notices what he thinks is a butterfly(!!), he nips into the house and picks up my camera (I am still in bed, drinking my morning cup of coffee) and takes this photograph.
I am certain it is a moth. In fact, on closer inspection it is two moths, one on top of the other and - I presume - probably mating. Aren't they beautiful and aren't they also very well camouflaged on the trunk of the pine? At present our garden is full of Greater Spotted Woodpeckers (as I write this there are three at the bird feeding station) and I wonder whether or not they would eat moths or whether they stick to grubs. They spend a lot of their time flinging bits of bark off our trees to get at eatables underneath.
My friend G has eyes like a peregrine falcon - I mean this in the nicest possible way - she never misses a single thing on our walks. Every bird, every owl pellet, nothing escapes her notice. I'm afraid I walk with my head on other things usually and this means that I miss a lot of what is going on around me.
So here is a photograph to start your day - two beautifully marked moths. They will probably be gone by now as the sun is out on the trunk of that tree. Enjoy!
# Must just mention in passing the death of one of my favourite artists, Cy Twombly.
I have always loved his work and if I was nearer to London I would be going to see the exhibition on at the moment where his work is interspersed with that of Nicholas Poussin (Dulwich Picture Gallery) and which sounds fascinating.
##Robert (Solitary Walker) tells me that these are Magpie Moths and that they fly in the day time throughout July and August. Thank you for the info Robert.