photography

Hermit Crat?

And it came to pass that earlier today we had a pile of toot in the living room, where we were in the process of turning out the rat’s nest known as the under-stairs cupboard. Upon this pile there was a green bucket. And in the bucket a strange furry hermit crab — or should I say cat:

Wiz in a Bucket

Cat Cuteness

In today’s episode of cate cuteness from our furry tribe, Tilly has discovered the trough on the study windowsill in which I grow chillies. (The plants were cut back a few days ago and the trough hasn’t yet been moved!)

Tilly asleep in the empty chilli trough

Tilly asleep in the empty chilli trough

Meanwhile Wiz has found the warm spot in front of the airing cupboard.

Wiz has found the warm spot by the airing cupboard

Click the images for larger views on Flickr

Moths

Let’s catch up on a couple of recent (like this week) photographs. Specifically we’ve had two common, but quite interesting, moths in the house in the last few days. First of all we had this …

Angle Shades
Angle Shades, Phlogophora meticulosa

I struggled to identify it as the illustration in my book looks nothing like this, but then they are very variable. Angle Shades are actually very common, and one often sees thier grey (or green; again they are quite variable) caterpillars around.
[By the way the gradations in the photos are 5mm squares.]

Then last evening I had this one flutter in the window and sit on my desk …

Straw Underwing
Straw Underwing, Thalpophila matura

This is (at least to me) much more interesting as I’ve not knowingly seen one before — but then with its wings folded it is just another dark coloured moth, so I probably have seen them and just not realised. Again it is quite common on rough grassland, of which we have plenty near here.

I know most people don’t like moths fluttering about, an they can be irritating, but many are actually rather spectacular when looked at closely. Oh and I think both of these were females.

Nationally Scarce

Now this is something I never expected o see here in West London! Noreen found it on the (inside of) the study windows late last evening. It’s a (female) Jersey Tiger Moth.

I’ve only ever seen one once before, in Lyme Regis some 10 or more years ago. They are apparently “nationally scarce”. Once restricted to, yes, Jersey, they are most common along the coastal areas of the South West, although they are obviously spreading and there are now reports from the London area. Instantly identifiable as a Tiger Moth, the size (that’s a 5mm grid), pattern and the distinctively striped head are diagnostic. Oh and they like Buddleia, and we have a bush not far from our back door.

Sorry not brilliant pictures as this was lively, so contained in a plastic bug-catcher, being photographed with my point-n-shoot late at night with flash. I have removed the slight colour-cast from the images, I hope without destroying the moth’s colours.

Jersey Tiger Jersey Tiger
Click the images for larger views on Flickr

[More info on the moths here and here.]

Oak Bush CricketAlso found this morning on our bathroom ceiling was this gorgeous little Oak Bush Cricket. The body is about 17 mm long and note those spectacular antennae which are three or four times the length of the body.

These are not scarce; we often get them in the house at this time of year — one of the benefits of having trees in the garden (including an oak) and being close to woodland. They’re very forgiving creatures and will happily sit still to be photographed, unlike captured moths.

Photographs

As long-time readers will know, in between anything else happening I enjoy a bit of people watching. In the last week or so I’ve seen these.

Click the images for larger views

blokes
Blokes, Plotting
Pinner; July 2016

3_Witches
Three Nubile witches
South Ealing; July 2016

visions1
Visions of Babushka
Northfields, Ealing; July 2016