This weekend was the Butterfly Conservation Upper Thames members day at which I was scheduled to give a talk. I thought I’d be fine, I’d written my talk months ago, I had my notes & was feeling calm. That was however before I arrived at the hall and found that it was massive and that butterfly legend (and current chair of Butterfly Conservation) Dr Jim Asher was in attendance along with Richard Lewington (who illustrates most of the moth books that I learnt my IDing from, gulp!).
I wasn’t on till 11.30am so tried to enjoy the mornings speakers & calm my nerves, but before I knew it Nick was calling my name & it was my turn to talk. The first couple of slides were tense, but when I looked up I caught a few people smiling (if you were one of those people, thank you!) and I tried to relax and enjoy the experience. My talk focused on how moth have become a part of my life since I took part in the most excellent Oxford Moth Project and what I find so amazing about moths and ended with me encouraging the rest of the Upper Thames Branch to start looking for moths alongside their butterflies & start trapping. I really hope some of the members I spoke to will have a go, mothing has brought me so much joy & I’d really like others to be able to experience that and make their own mothy memories. After my talk (& after I’d calmed down & had something to eat) I perused the stalls and came away with this beautiful print of the tiger moths (one of my favourite groups)
There is also another bit of moth news to report from these parts, remember Elvis?
He was looking like he was ready to pupate a couple of weeks ago and crawled to the bottom of his container under his kitchen towel. I was a little bit worried as he had stopped moving and didn’t seem to be pupating and his colour looked ‘off’. Had he died?
I decided to have faith & moved him onto soil which is the preferred material for eyed hawkmoths, I kept the soil damp & finally Elvis decided to oblige and pupate:
Starting to get there (looking a bit pruney)
There. I’ll be watching over him until hopefully Spring (we’ve turned the heating off in the spare bedroom that he shares with Bob the Shurbunkin (it can’t get too warm for him either so they are good room mates) so hopefully he should emerge on time and not early). Will keep you posted!