Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Wonderful French Moths

I have been surprised by the variety of moths here, although dead ones are hard to find. As I gingerly picked up an insect from the wall, thinking it was some sort of leaf bug, I was slightly shaken by the suddenly vigorous moth I had in my hand, a large 'oak eggar', which was sitting like a large out of place birch leaf on the plaster of the house wall in broad daylight. There are hawk moths everywhere and large 'garden tigers' feeding on the lavender beds. The most wonderful moths however are the multiple hummingbird hawk moths which dance in little gangs over the lavenders taking nectar from the flowers. The are quite astonishingly fast and unable to keep up with them, to use the auto focus on the camera, I resorted to hastily manually focussing and jigging about trying to keep one in frame as it stopped at each flower to hover beautifully for a fraction of a second before moving on.

In the evening, as we sat in the open sided dutch barn, we could watch the many moths come and go in the lamp light, with the occasional bat zipping in out of the dark to take advantage of the distracted oasis of insects. I took a few long exposure shots of the lights with the moths coming and going and this 60 second exposure captures at least something of the number of visitors, their erratic paths leaving reflected trails against the dark sky.


  1. A couple of lovely photos - well done on capturing the hawk moth! Wish I had been there...

  2. We missed you, next time. D

    I also spent 5 minutes watching an enormous black carpenter bee with Alexander, a very intimidating insect, iridescent blue/black in the sunshine and me without my camera to hand.