The ups and downs of life

After seeing my pension fund slide dramatically last week I had every reason to feel pretty down come the weekend. The politicians have conspired to make a crisis out of a drama. On both sides of “The Pond” credibility is close to zero and the man in the street suffers as a result. I will sit it out and hope sanity returns but it is not a comfortable ride. From AAA to AAArgh.

Then on Saturday we visited a schoolfriend of my wife. Terminally ill at 5o-something and a last chance to say goodbye. Pretty sobering. Cancer. Aggressive. Spread throughout the major organs. Too weak to talk. Stick thin, hair in wisps but still forcing a smile. Shirley held out until we left then the floodgates opened. Her friend’s sister has nursed her throughout. As we left she comforted Shirley and said “Don’t be upset, she has had a wonderful life”. Of such stuff are heroines made.

On Saturday afternoon a rare visit from a good chum of mine to talk moths. We are both busy and it was great to see he is on the up with more and more work coming in. I hadn’t run my trap for a while but after a couple of hours chin-wagging I thought I would see what was on the wing. I lit up at about 7pm and got up at 5am to check the night’s arrivals. I don’t kill and set them. Nice specimens are photographed and released, others just fly away when the light is eventually turned off.  I keep trying to convince people that moths are pretty things – the butterflies of the night – but most are unconvinced, Shirley included. So here are 3 from last night to gainsay all you Doubting Thomas types.

Actias selene - male

This is a moon moth. Quite beautiful and as large as a side plate. The left forewing is slightly marked but otherwise this looks a lovely fresh specimen. These are not common but neither are they rare. I see them maybe once or twice a year.

Dichocrocis zebralis

Now who on earth named this? Zebralis! It is of course slightly smaller than a zebra with a wingspan of 25mm. And whoever saw a zebra with a wingspan of any dimension? I am simply baffled why anyone could be so daft! It is however most definitely not a little brown job. And here is another cracker….

Lygropia quaternalis

Now that’s a real beauty – a tad smaller with wingspan 17mm but beautifully marked. I saw 3 or 4 of these last night. Look at the black kneecaps! To the lep man this is a crambid (not to be confused with a cranberry).

I have maybe another 40 or 50 photos to go through and many species to identify. But it keeps me off the streets. Three weeks in a row away from home. The last 2 weeks in Singapore, the next in Dubai. And it is Ramadan. And 46 degrees Celsius. Woe is me. Roll on retirement and roll up the equity markets. Please.


One thought on “The ups and downs of life

  1. Hear Hear! Early retirement next June at 55 is looking more and more like just a fantasy. Not totally despondent yet though……………..

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