"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Friday, 24 February 2012

Fisrt Moth of the Year and Inspiration

In view of the incredibly mild weather and the fact that the Garden Moth Scheme begins soon I gave the moth trap its first outing of the year last night in a test run.

The temperature ranged from 11.3 down to 8.3 degrees centigrade and I was rewarded this morning with my first moth of the year - a micro called Emmelina monodactyla (one of the plume moths).

It looks like a tiny plane about to take off in the photo below!

The imago hibernates and is often attracted to light early in the year.

I gather there is a new book on micro identification due out soon - can't wait!

I've been watching the recent brilliant tv series by Sarah Raven on Bees, Butterflies and Blooms. Concerned with the rapid decline in British bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects she has been on a mission to try and reverse this trend by the planting of nectar friendly plants in our gardens, countryside and towns. If you missed the series it is still available on BBC iplayer.

I've been totally inspired by the programmes. Although we get a lot of pollinating insects on flowers in the wildflower meadow and perennial bed, I shall certainly be rethinking the type of plants I put in my patio pots and will be scattering seed like cosmos in any bare patches of soil I can find in the garden.


Toffeeapple said...

Every year I see one of those in my garden, they are such beautifully designed creatures.

I haven't come across the Sarah Raven programme, I shall look it up tomorrow.

The book on Micro Moths is very tempting..

Ragged Robin said...

Thanks for your comment Toffeeapple.

The Sarah Raven programmes are well worth watching - there is also a book but its rather expensive so am hoping it comes out as a paperback!

I'm also saving my pennies for the micro moth id book - I need all the help I can get with id :D

Pete said...

i avoid la raven at all costs

Stewart said...

Hi Caroline, I bet there's a queue for the micros guide, I saw it advertised in British Wildlife.

Monodactyla would be a new one for my garden. I have caught one in Norfolk and they are regular in SE Northumberland but not up in North Northumbs. Maybe its too cool for them...

Good mothing , I look forward to following your GMS results...

Ragged Robin said...

Pete - LOL! - husband and son were not impressed by her! but I have to say I thought the progs were very good and you have to admire what she has managed to persuade people to do to help pollinators.

Stewart - yes I saw the mention in British Wildlife; as you say it might not be that easy to get hold of or else it will be an extortionate price!

Perhaps climate change will bring monodactyla your way?! Fingers crossed!

Good mothing to you too Stewart - you are off to a good start! Hopefully lots of new ticks for both of us this year.

Dartford Warbler said...

We have monodactyla here in our New Forest garden. They do look like fragile but beautifully designed little microlight aircraft!

Our patch of "wild " grass has grown high for two summers. Already there are several native wildflowers colonising it.

Ragged Robin said...

Dartford Warbler - Emmelina is a lovely moth - even the name is beautiful! You've hit the nail on the head with the description of little microlight aircraft!

Its amazing what wildflowers can suddenly appear in a garden in untended areas. I hope you get several more appearing this year.