Monday, 14 June 2010

Gah!! There are insects in the fridge!!

"Why is my fridge full of moths? It's the family fridge. It's for food, not insects."

All of a sudden the fridge belongs to Mrs L. Cute. She barely goes near it week in week out, except for milk, but when I happen to put a moth (or thirty) in there, straight away it's a violation of her territory. I don't see the problem. The moths are stored in little pots - tantalisingly and cruelly close to the jam - it's not like I'm trying to create Butterfly World in there is it? But no, it's her fridge, and she's not happy.

Once upon a time, in my wild and younger days, I had my own fridge. It was a beer fridge, and it was exclusively for beer. It was in my play-room, before we had children. I had a room all to myself. It contained a fantastic leather reclining armchair that had belonged to my Grandfather. One of those ones you lean back in and a foot-rest swings out. I had my computer to play stupid games on, a pile of books, a hi-fi, and my beer fridge. Music on, feet up, swig beer. Those were the days! Where did my life go? I'd have been hopping mad if she'd have filled it with moths of course. Or wool.

Then we had our fist child. As if in protest, the beer fridge started to rust and we had to throw it out, despite it's continuing refrigerative prowess. I guess the writing was on the wall for that fridge. Then we moved house, and I lost my play-room too. These days I am confined to a small area in the kitchen, two foot square. That's officially my space. It's conveniently in front of the computer, so I am forced to write blog posts all day long. Shucks.

Anyway, back to the here and now, as it's pretty thrilling. Last night was a landmark night for the moth trap. Over 50 moths, and nearly 30 species. It has taken me most of the day to go through them, admittedly in fits and starts, but I am mostly there and only two still defy identification. Oh, and so do the three that flew away, lulling me into a false sense of security by pretending to be asleep, and then "waking-up" as soon as I took the lids off the pots to photograph them. Needless to say I have many many photographs of moths from today, however I'll spare you as most of them are browny and boring-y. I did take the Macro lens off the camera momentarily when a group of Starlings came in to eat Mahonia berries. It's been two days since this blog had a Starling photo on it, and I'm sure that like me you'll agree that that's far too long.

Let's face it, on the birding front there isn't a great deal going on, you have to take what you can get. Especially on this blog. On the offchance that there are any geeks reading this, the Starling photo was handheld at 1/200th of a second (which sounds nano but isn't), just a casual point and shoot from the terrace, making my heavy-duty carbon fibre tripod look pretty stupid. Also making it look redundant is this photo of a Red Admiral. Again handheld - sometimes it just works I guess. If you're taking notes, also at 1/200th, but with a shorter lens and therefore theoretically easier. It was at f8 if you care. You don't? Oh.

Tell you what, how about a photo of the Tottenham Rosefinch that was my 218th London tick and 184th for the year? Oh no, my mistake, it didn't show for hours and hours and hours, and I lugged my camera about for no good reason whatsoever. Still, a London tick is a London tick, photographed or not, and by all accounts Common Rosefinch is a pretty good one. I was on the phone to Paul W gripping him off letting him know the good news that it was still present when what I'm fairly certain was it flitted through my bins, hopping down into the back of the large bush that we were all looking at. When I'd hung up I mentioned this, and a chorus of "There's a Sedge Warbler in there" came back from the assembled twitchers. A vote of confidence if ever I heard one...

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