"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, 8 May 2015

Tinged with Sadness

Yesterday I took the male Emperor moth to the release site where there has been an established colony of this species for many years. I had kept him longer than I planned as on Tuesday it was very windy and on Wednesday it was still windy and raining. Thursday wasn't ideal as there were frequent showers but I thought it was time to give him his freedom and hope that he would track down a female and fulfill his purpose in life!!

A lovely walk through deciduous woodland

en route to an area of heathland.

By this time it had started to rain quite heavily.

I found a sheltered tree stump and took a few photos of him in a natural environment

and then moved him closer to the heathland where I left him in the undergrowth hopefully safe from predators and rain. By the time I got back to the car the sun was shining again and hopefully he was enjoying his freedom. It was a happy moment but tinged with sadness so I was rather pleased this morning to see another perfect male emerge from a cocoon. I will be returning to the release site in a day or two hopefully in dry and warm weather. There is also a small colony of Green Hairstreak butterflies at the site which I would like to seek out.

I was going to do a post on a visit to Ladywalk NR tonight but have been rather despondent over the election results today and really not in the mood.

I won't say too much about the outcome of the General Election as, with a few exceptions, I save most of my ranting for Twitter. But I do fear the effect a Government which totally ignores scientific evidence, independent advice from experts and has little (if any) respect for our native fauna will have on British wildlife, conservation and the environment over the next 5 years. Sadly, the campaign to save badgers, bees (neonicotinoids), marine wildlife (lack of Marine Conservation Zones - far too few designated), buzzards and hen harriers will have to continue. Foxes and hares may well have to be added to this list if the Hunting Act is repealed and this is before we even mention HS2, fracking, GM crops and building on green belt. The list is endless. Sad, dark day today, in my view, for wildlife.


Countryside Tales said...

So pleased you've got moth number two on the way and hopefully number 1 will do well outside. Weather set to improve here next week so hopefully it will with you too :o)

I worry what will happen if we leave Europe as it seems the only thing producing any half way sensible wildlife legislation.

Caroline Gill said...

Thank you so much for your comment on my tree(s). What a superb moth. I keep asking myself whether I am ready for the 'moth challenge' ... i.e. to make myself learn more, but keep feeling I should perhaps get more to grips with dragonflies and butterflies first!

Pete Duxon said...

on a brighter note Villa won again....

amanda peters said...

Fingers crossed the moth manages to find a mate, been looking at my pack again from Plantlife as I was hoping to go tomorrow , still not quite understanding it all, wish they did a video showing someone doing and recording a plot.
Amanda xx

Ragged Robin said...

Sorry again everyone for lumping all the replies together. With the ancient blogger layout I have on this blog I can't reply individually under each of your comments :(

Countryside Tales - Thanks CT - Number 2 looks perfect again thank goodness after the very first one. Still cold here although as you say looks warmer (a bit!!) next week.

In many ways I would come out of EU but for wildlife reasons alone I will vote a resounding NO. Can't even begin to think about the loss of the wildlife legislation :( Can't remember in detail but there was some suggestion the new guy EU in charge might want to water down birds directive :( It was some time ago when he was first appointed and I haven't heard any more.

Caroline Gill. Thanks Caroline. Moths are absolutely fascinating and once you start you become totally hooked! Butterflies are probably the easiest initially as there are not that many species. There are several thousand macro and micro moths so you need a good field guide or website (e.g. Hants Moths Flying Tonight is excellent) and UK Moths. To be honest I struggle with micro moth id as they are so tiny and so many are very similar so with moths best to start with the bigger macro moths.

Even though there aren't that many species I find dragonfly id hard unless I can get a decent photo to help! Again many are similar.

Good Luck and look forward to reading about what you see. Please ask if you need any moth help and I will do what I can to assist.

Pete Duxon - YES!!!!! :) :) Huge relief after Sunderland result!!! Thanks for Attingham Park suggestion - only had 2.5 hours there but house is superb. Had to forego tearoom as we were running out of time and I wanted to see the Walled Garden. Had homemade shortbread and tea at The Greedy Pig Catering Van!!

Amanda Peters - Thanks Amanda - I do wonder how he is!! You feel so responsible when you've reared them from an egg!! :)

TBH still not had time to go and even make an initial visit to my Plantlife site. Still kicking myself I applied so early and was allocated one rather than picking my own. It looks most unpromising and inaccessible :(

Its far more complicated than it used to be and I am wondering how I am going to fit the squares (which are much bigger than I thought) into the area round a public footpath!! I really must go next week and have a quick look. Agree about the video - they could put it on their website!

Would also say the map they have provided is nowhere near as good as the one we had before. I haven't a clue how you would work out where on the map the plots they recommend you survey are. And without landowner permission how are you supposed to get to them anyway if not on public footpath!! I was so luck with previous square because it was all free access in the main.

Let me know please how you get on and I'll do the same. Perhaps we can then try and help each other with queries. Sorry for long reply!!

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - Me again! Sorry meant plots not squares in para 3.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

What you have done here is a perfect example of the small scale action anyone can do!

Ragged Robin said...

Simon Douglas Thompson - Thanks so much Simon :) Lack of awareness among some of general public to environmental issues really concerns me especially as the environment and conservation never featured much in election campaigns :( I wonder how many people who voted Conservative were even aware of things like slaughtering badgers and possible repeal of Hunting Act?

Millymollymandy said...

Just wanted to say how lovely to see this beautiful moth and let's hope he finds a mate! :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Millymollymandy - Thanks so much :) Wild ones are emerging at the moment so really hope so.

David Turner said...

Glad that the Emperor moth was released safely and here's hoping he thrives in his new environment. I can certainly understand your slight tinge of sadness when releasing something that one has cared for for so long.

I am personally keeping an open-mind as regards the new government and hope that the more moderate elements within the Conservatives will come to the fore now that they have a working majority.

Hope you are well and kindest regards :-)

Ragged Robin said...

David Turner - Thanks very much David. So hoping too that he survives long enough to find a female! Will be enough tomorrow to release the second male! No sign of any females yet. If its sunny and warm when I visit the site I'll have a look for some wild emperors!

Hope you right about the new Government David. Will be very interesting to see who the next SOS Environment will be unless he retains Truss. Someone on Twitter expressed a wish for Zac Goldsmith!! :) Just hoping he doesn't re-appoint Paterson!!

Thank you all well here - hope you are too and that the final work on the cottage is progressing well. Best wishes Caroline

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - not sure if you will see this comment but there is lots of stuff today on the review of Birds and Habitat Directive. I can't post the links but there is an article by Damien Carrington on the Guardian website (Conservation) page and the RSPB are launching a campaign.