Nice Surprise

Once a Month I like to set up my Moth Trap, and get a good close up look at what’s flying around out there in the dark. The bright 125watt methane vapour lamp glows like a false Moon, creating a dome of white light, that weakens and gives in to the darkness at its extremities. In the blackness of rural night, to any passing or resident Moth, this light must seem like a Super Moon, and must be checked out.
The Light reveals more than Moths. Brock’s stripey face is easily seen, as his grey bulk shuffles along the track, stopping occasionally to sniff, then have a quick dig.
The Barn Owl glides into the dome of light, its pale coloration makes its appearance seem instantaneous, like a magical illusion. Its blood curdling screech sends a shiver down my spine. The eyes of the Horses (Kracker and Poppy) catch the light as they graze, making me think instantly of evil creatures, lurking out there in the unknown. Silly, I know, but that’s what the dark and the night do to me. The large oak doors of my imagination are pushed open, and every conceivable ghoulish thought in my head is released and allowed to scrape their fingernails across the blackboard of my imagination.

But, the Sun rises, bringing with it a return to the familiar. Those evil creatures of the night have left the paddocks, and thank the Lord, Kracker and Poppy are both ok.
Sat comfortably on my green plastic chair, I lean forward and start to examine the egg cartons of my Moth Trap. I feel like a kid at Christmas, the expectancy and anticipation, I don’t know what’s flown in there, and I have no idea what each turn of a carton will reveal.

The real surprise on this occasion came in the form of a Dotted Chestnut. A very rare Moth in Staffordshire, in fact, it has only been recorded once before, and that was in 1997, so you can imagine how chuffed I am.

Dotted Chestnut – the second record for Staffordshire.

The Blackbirds are singing now, it’s time to venture outside and feed the waiting hoards, then sit down in front of my Skinner Trap to check for more nice surprises.

P.S No Moths were harmed in the making of this epic post.

Categories: Burning the Midnight Oil


I'm a disabled ex-Soldier, just entering my Autumn years. I write purely out of enjoyment about anything and everything. My main interests are Nature, especially birds and history. I enjoy reading, fiction or non-fiction, it doesn't matter, any genre pleases me.


    • Hello Andrea, I’m glad you enjoyed dropping in, it is a nice place, day or night. I was browsing through some of the comments on your last post, wow, so many, and you answer each one, amazing, that’s a full time job in itself. And you still find the time to read other folks blogs. Enjoy your next stole out. Take care. Mick.

      • Thanks Mick. I’ve built up a lovely community from reading other peoples’ blogs and commenting on theirs as they comment on mine – it wasn’t something I expected when I started blogging – I didn’t really know anything about blogging when I started, but it’s lovely to have these distant friendships with people all over the world.

Please,Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.