It is precisely 05.29 and I have just checked my moth trap. I ran just one actinic light last night, as I was overwhelmed the previous night. Running two traps in different parts of the garden was either a roaring success or stupid depending on your perspective. After two months my garden species list stands at 169. There may yet be another hiding in one of the pots in front of me.
My target for the year is 1,000. Why 1,000? Because the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust told me with my garden habitat I could expect ~1,000 species in a year. Now I think that is a real stretch. It probably assumes I can identify everything down to the smallest micro. It probably assumes that no moth escapes and I do not get stuck on 999. Nevertheless it is a benchmark. Let’s call it a guideline rather than a target.
I have been rather impressed with the HIWWT as they like to be called. In fact I liked it so much I joined. £3.50 per month. A bargain. They impressed me because I wrote to them asking for some advice on how to tame the beast that is my garden. They came back with fact sheets, links to excellent reference material and – wait for it – I corresponded with a real person! Deborah. There is a lesson here for other organisations, whose help lines are oxymorons staffed in the main by morons.
The advice on ponds is a little conflicting and I need to get my head around that. Leave the natural leaf litter in the bottom of the pond or clear it out? Reducing the spread of nettles and docks seems sensible. Thinning out also seems good advice. There are some plants I don’t think I have that I probably should introduce to enhance the species richness of the garden. Above all, I need a plan.
On the house front the week has been an unmitigated disaster. Blocked drains, deteriorating pipework and delays in getting the floor prepped for the kitchen to go in have all conspired to raise my stress levels and earlier in the week my chest pains were worrying. The rather banal poster and T-shirt for Keep Calm ideas should in my case perhaps read “Keep Calm, avoid shopping, builders and driving but eat lots and lots of ice cream and drink lashings and lashings of ginger beer”. Of course the T-shirt would need to be quite large but I’m working on that.
Let’s finish with a moth and a peaceful building. The moth’s common name is Blotched Emerald. Not ‘botched’ as I originally thought.And here is the entrance to the Church of St. Lawrence, Winchester. St Lawrence Church is thought to have been originally the chapel of William the Conqueror’s palace, built about 1069. That is what we call history. I popped my head in out of curiosity. I have walked past hundreds of times but foolishly they built it opposite a camera shop. Enough said. I went in and was alone. Silence. Light. Peace. Just what the doctor ordered.