Autumn officially begins (with a first appearance of one of the Blairs)

September 24, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

As mentioned more than a few times this year on this blog (here for example), Summer doesn't officially end until the 20th September - and Autumn doesn't officially begin until the 21st September.

Well... we're three days into Autumn now and up until the Sunday gone (two days into Autumn but twenty-three days into September), we had only had about 6% of our average rain totals for the month (of September) even though the month itself was over 75% through.

Yep.... September 2012 has been bone dry down here, but Autumn arrived and changed all that....

I can tell Autumn has arrived with a bang, not just because our water butts have suddenly all filled up, but we've had our first leylandii-loving moth arrive to our outside light last night - a "Blair's shoulder knot".

Not rare in the south of the UK - and not even rare as far north as Cumbria these days (even appearing in scotland since 2000), after not even being a British species until the 1950s - it has done very well for itself in the past 60 or so years....

[NB. It is called "Blair's shoulder knot" as the famous (in lepidopteran circles anyway) entomologist Dr.K.G.Blair first discovered it on the Isle of White in 1951. Since the Monterey Cypress and Leylandii (cross between the Monterey and Nootka cypresses) were introduced in huge numbers to the UK, this formerly mediterranean moth has taken to our shores in numbers also - one could even think of this moth species as THE most successful mothy colonist in Britain - all because of our introduced cypress trees. I should point out that the dark marks at the base of the forewings of this moth are known as the shoulder knots.]

It does seem to love suburban gardens, especially those with leylandii and ornamental cypresses in... and tends to fly from late September until December kicks in... a REAL sign of Autumn, at least for me...



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