After this morning's learned disquisition on bagworms, I thought it might be nice to have a light-hearted PS, especially when I had another look at the eggboxes over an afternoon cup of tea and found the Elephant Hawk slumbering away.
This morning's picture was taken when it was still cloudy but now we have brilliant sunshine and I couldn't resist a photoshoot of this lovely creature.
Here, for example, it's giving the moth equivalent of a coy Come Hither while it looks a little sterner below. It is a special moth for me since it fired my enthusiasm for butterflies and moths when I was 12 years old. As I recount pretty much every year, on the occasion of its arrival, the kind and enthusiastic Curator of Natural History at Leeds Museum, John Armitage, told my brother and I to look on the lower stems of rosebay willowherb in late August. We would have a sporting chance, he said, of finding the grey, eyed caterpillars which give the species its English name (nothing to do with pink elephants, alas). We followed his advice and found a clutch of catties which we then successfully reared into gorgeous adults. I hope that every child finds their John Armitage in whatever sphere or hobby takes their interest. Or Jane - though John's equally kind wife Mabel had a harder task. She tried to teach us maths.
Just how pink can you get? Talking of which, I am hoping to find that pretty and prettily-named moth the Maiden's Blush in the eggboxes one of these mornings. Meanwhile, here's a beautiful, subtly-patterned Marbled Minor to be going on with, also roused from its slumbers for a sunny photoshoot.
finally, this what happens to a walnut if you drop it in a flowerbed. The hand is Penny's. The shadow with the camera and drip bonnet is me.