Sunday, 29 June 2008

Sunday Safari

I am going out today so I was in the garden at 6.00a.m. looking for bugs....I didn't have to go far, before I noticed the common footman on the front of the house. I must be honest I have never read up on this rather insignificant looking moth. After perusing my books I thought I would share the findings with you.

The disappearance of a species of footman moth from an area can be an indication of rising atmospheric pollution, as their caterpillars feed on lichens which grow in a fairly clean environment. In the wild lichens seem to be an essential food. The moths fly in July and August, in deciduous woodland throughout England and Wales. They fly at night and rest during the day. They rest with their long thin wings wrapped flat over the abdomen, suggesting the stiff appearance of a footman in livery, hence the name.

We always have this moth in the garden in summer. We have lichen in the garden all year. The above photograph is our maple tree and it is covered in lichen.......so I now understand a lot more about this little fellow. He may not be the most beautiful moth in the world but he is giving me a message.........that the environment I live in has fairly clean air. Long may he stay here..........................

20 comments:

naturewitch said...

Hi Cheryl

As I continue my study in naturopathy, I am constantly in awe of the little signs our bodies have to tell us what is wrong with us.

It strikes me, reading this post, that the insects are a lot like those body signs, only they are the signs of the planet's health.

I'm so glad your garden is pristine enough to support this little fellow. Wish more areas were so. We could all learn a lot by studying our little insect friends and heeding their warnings.

love and light

Cheryl said...

Hi Naturewitch......I agree with you....we need to listen to the creatures and watch for signs.......the trouble is people don't want to hear, it is easier to just get on with life.....

I to listen to my body...I am very much in touch with it...I need nature to heal me....she serves me well....

Aluajala said...

THe moth looks nice. I love such little creatures. It is amazing to suddenly notice them hiding on a leaf or in a tree..

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I think this moth is quite elegant. Not flashy like some but calmly elegant.

It is funny that the lichen on your maple has some of the same colors as the moth. I wonder if this particular lichen is what it eats. It would sure be camaflaged if it were on the lichen.

Cheryl said...

Hi Aluajala...yes it is amazing what we can find, if we only take the time to look........

Cheryl said...

Lisa....that is such good thinking...it had not occured to me, thank you for bringing it to my attention....

beckie said...

Cheryl, first, your damselfly was beautiful. And I loved all the info on it. The moth is not exactly my cup of tea but I understand it's importance in the world. You are so good to read and earn about God's creatures. In doing so, I know you provide an environment that they will thrive in, thus enriching our whole world. You are to be admired for all your efforts!

Hectic weekend here. We have 6 granddaughters and a soon to be step granddaughter and grandson-8 in all 7 under 9! Fun! Fun!

John Young said...

Hi Cheryl, very nice blog. Crikey, i'd love to have a rabbit warren as part of my garden what a treat. Agree with you that the bee in my post is a mining bee sp., just not sure which one.

ChrisND said...

I think it looks great in it's simple attire...and the significance of the presence is great too. I'm glad you posted you findings about the footman. Haven't see any here, although we don't really have a habit for them.

If you want to visit, I did a little safari this Sunday too.

Q said...

Dear Cheryl,
He is beautiful!
Getting to know the bugs is grand!
I live in the city and am planting for the bees and the butterflies. Hopefully I will be able to bring a bit of clean air to my street side gardens. Lots of trees and bushes will help my gardens.
Keeping an eye on your beautiful moth and your lovely lichens will help you know the health of your gardens. I enjoy learning about what's in my backyard.
Hope your party was lots of fun.
Thank you for bug hunting today...
I want to go hunt for moss and lichen now and maybe find a moth too.
Sherry

Cheryl said...

Hi Beckie....Gosh they will keep you young and fit ......have lots and lots of fun.....

Cheryl said...

Hi John...there are so many mining bees...I have looked in one of my books and I can't find the one on your blog....Hope you find out, it would be interesting to know.....

Cheryl said...

Hi Chris....will pop over later to take a look.....

Cheryl said...

Hi Sherry it was a bit rushed today....but I liked my find....he is a good bug.
You do a lot for nature, and I am sure there is good clean air above your space.....

Rose said...

An interesting moth--do they live anywhere besides England and Wales? I'm not surprised they would find your home a hospitable place.
Now I found an interesting but very unwelcome insect visiting at my house today--the Japanese beetles flew into town! Do you have these in the UK?

Cheryl said...

Hi Rose.....As far as I know Rose just in the places I mention.

No we don't have the japanese beetle.....what damage does this do????

Wendy said...

I think he looks elegant. And quite at home in your garden.

Cheryl said...

Wendy...he is a welcome guest.....

zhakee said...

What interesting lichen is growing on that tree. Your garden is an amazing place, with so much diversity.

Cheryl said...

Hi Zhakee.....I love lichen, and fungi......there is so much that holds my attention here.....