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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition, that was until Covid-19 intervened!. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!

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Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Little things

It was in the summer of 1994 that, due to the requirement for Benno to undertake a school holiday project, I first ran a moth trap in our garden. I'd been living in Kent for less than a year yet, because of time spent with the incredible characters in the original "H" block, that was Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory, moths had quickly come into my conciousness. Andy Johnson was probably the keenest of the bunch but, if we needed assistance with an id, the late/great Tony Harman was always in the wings waiting to help us wannabes. So with that as my starting point and Benno needing to return to school (St. Faith's at Ash - which my parents founded) with a project of his choice completed, the garden moths were a gimme? There certainly wasn't a teacher involved who could question the accuracy of anything Benno reported. Indeed, over that holiday period the highlight for us was our first Poplar Hawkmoth, however Tony Harman came round, as he often did for a social, and discovered a Red-necked Footman in one of the pots stored in the fridge awaiting id. Big news back then! Benno's account of the excitement of finding that first garden hawk-moth was well recieved and his primitive artwork only added to the genuine feel for his involvement with the whole project. 


A Least Carpet (Idaea rusticata) on my study window frame!
A moth which Andy Johnson had gone to great lengths to explain how
restricted was it's distribution in SE England, thus how lucky we were to catch one.

That first season was an incredible period of discovery and a very steep learning curve was embarked upon. That Benno lost interest as gramar school impacted upon his social life and interests, I was left to continue the amazing journey alone, certainly from a garden perspective. Bev and I have run the trap on and off right up to 2016 then sort of lost interest. So why am I prattling on about such things? Firstly, the grand-children finished school today and I'm hoping that moth trapping might inspire them to look at nature rather than be scared of it (parental influence, their Dad is a piss poor excuse of an example where spiders and bumble-bees are involved) Secondly, with retirement, I need to have a reason to get out of bed in the mornings. Emptying a moth trap is certainly one that I've enjoyed previously and showing the odd specimen to the neighbours has always been fun. I'm now in the market for a new trap. Not too sure if I'll get an atinic or an MV, but a trap will be acquired very shortly - any thoughts on the subject would be most gratefully recieved. 

8 comments:

  1. Dyl, the discipline of work/employment is generally underestimated, and to suddenly be given a totally open brief on the day is a bit of a shock to many. Fortunately for some of us we have constructive pastimes and open ended challenges to keep us occupied. I mean, my natural inclination is to loaf about doing nothing. However, that invariable follows on from some effort one place of other.

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    1. Ric, I really enjoyed the routine involved with my shift patterns within any working week. For them to have gone is a bit of a jolt to my system but, incredibly, I find that it isn't the work I miss but, instead, the shop floor banter and the team spirit which existed between us. Just because I can go fishing every day doesn't mean I have to? If I can re-establish a garden moth trap then it's just something else I can do to keep me amused. All the best - Dyl

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  2. Just caught up with your "it ain't arf hot" post and loved the simple joy that came from it as you realised that this retirement lark has such spur of the moment benefits, i.e. the overnight stay at your brother's.

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    1. Yeah, this is one time that I've got to admit that "you told me so!" many years previous. It is an absolutely superb situation, all the time our health is in good nick, to spontaneously do those things which have always taken planning whilst work featured in the mix. Hoping all is well in deepest Sheppey? Take care - Dyl

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  3. Life on Sheppey is great, I just love this hot and sunny weather, it's the best I've felt all year, so far.

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  4. Without doubt a Robinson 125w MV is the best to get. It attracts more and retains them better too, but if its too bright for the location and Robinson actinic would be better. I have no regrets on forking out big bucks on my Robbie 12 years ago...

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    1. Thanks for that Stewart, thew wheels are in motion. On an entirely different subject, it seems that Gavin has started something with his latest offering. All I can say is that a character like that wouldn't last too long in a factory environment. Cheers for the advice - Dyl

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