For those unfamiliar with the technique you chuck a cardboard box onto the back roof and insert a lamp at dusk then after having fallen asleep with a bottle of vino collapso you check what has turned up and hope you can focus sufficiently to get a photograph. Last night was busy but then you have the problem of half arsed moth ID. I generally find in my book what I think is the moth only to find it's not found this far north or at this time of year then it's search the Northumberland and Country Moth sites. Last nights results were typical. Book says Lampkes Gold Spot rather than plain old Gold Spot but on Northumberlands Grading its a 3 (1 being common and 5 rare).
Worse still this looks like Scarce Silver Lines scoring 4 on the rarity value with only two recent records.
Now a couple of 1's but still not convinced. Willow Beauty
Beautiful Golden Y
and this from two nights ago which shows all the characteristics of a Thorn so I would guess Canary Shouldered but can't find a pic with the spots on the wing. Maybe I should just stick to drinking rather than thinking. PS I found it and how appropriate given my mothing technique that it is called The Drinker.
I took this shot on 2nd July up the bridle track where four or five nettle plants were covered in mass hatchings of Peacock caterpillars. Don't worry your eyes haven't gone. I've left it blurred to give the impression of a writhing body although in actual fact the movement away from the core was quite stately but they had all dispersed by the next day. These will no doubt be the second flourish of the butterfly on the wing this year which commences late August lasting through September.
With the sun shining and le tour de france underway my thoughts turned to Banded Demoiselles so it was off to Bellasis Bridge this morning and there they were, as every year this day about seven squabbling males and two females. This male had a prime hunting perch on a sunlit rock.
Just upstream of the rock was an area of weed just covered by the flowing river Blyth onto which the male occasionally descended. Presenting his ideal home perhaps. Eventually a female passed by.............
and after a brief chase they got jiggy with it on an overhanging grass stem in coitus that appears just a little brutal. Then came the bit I didn't know about.
They both uncoupled and after a brief flight descended to the patch of weeds whereupon the female submerged herself and clung to one of the stems whilst the male stood guard on the surface. That's her on her side just to the right of him.
Eventually he retreated back to his rock seeing off any male or female that came close while she oviposited on the stem below the water. I waited for her to surface and wondered if she had drowned (how do Dragonflies breathe?) but she was moving about clinging to the stem and minutes turned into half an hour. I was hoping to get the moment when she returned to the surface to dry her wings but the damn phone went and I had to return to the purgatory that currently is family life. More bandies on the way next year though.
sad old loner totally p****d off with life, work and modern society hence the propensity to head off into the wilds to escape.
Photos taken with Canon 500D and (from 14.06.13) Tamron 70-300 zoom following the demise of my Canon zoom.