Yesterday I posted that Ben, our eldest boy had found SOMETHING on the largest of our poplar trees in our back garden... but I had no time to blog further on the matter, so asked any reader of this blog to guess what he'd found.
But... did you guess correctly?
I've been searching (in vain) for these wee things for some time now. Turns out in order to see them, I barely needed to leave our kitchen!
I knew that they were almost certainly in the garden, after finding lots of evidence in the exposed roots of our big black poplars (see 2nd photo below) but up until yesterday, I'd only seen a red-belted clearwing moth on our (sadly, late) apple tree about 5 years ago - and not the cousin of the red-belted clearwing we've actually been looking for. (*That said the red-belted clearwing is far FAR rarer than the moth found yesterday - just far less impressive too).
Yesterday. Ben found a ...
Hornet (Clearwing) moth on an exposed root of our biggest black poplar in the garden.
That was my father's day present he proudly told me.
And to be honest.... I couldn't have wished for a better father's day present!
Oh sure, I know they're regarded as pests, these beautiful moths - and sure, I expect that one day, their larval activity in this tree will eventually, probably kill it.
But we have other black poplars (we're deliberately growing quite a few) and I still can't help thinking that this moth species is perhaps the best moth in the UK.
How on earth people consider butterflies to be more beautiful and more interesting than those awful grey or brown moths is completely beyond me.
Have a good week.
(Photo 1 above and 2 below taken with my 15 year old Panasonic FZ50 bridge camera).
(Photos 3,4,5 and 6 below taken with my tiny wee pocket camera (the Panasonic TZ90))
(Photo 7 below taken with my pretty terrible 2018 Samsung J3 phone)
(Photos 8-15 below all taken with my 15 year old Panasonic FZ50 bridge camera).