Saturday, 27 September 2014

Raising awareness at Bont wood night trap.

Last evening I set a load of traps, borrowed a jenny, took the sheet off the bed and hung it on the trees, set up a table with books, camera etc and awaited the throng…..and they came, people that is.
I had set a lower age limit for youngsters so that selected the most active and adventurous which redefined risk assessment for me during an evening I thought might never end!  After a couple of hours I had run out of excuses for the moths non- appearance and had to resort to putting out a few I had prepared the night before.
If only I'd done that Sky at Night course…

This morning I had invited participants to join me to open the remote traps…..even more people arrived for that despite the fact that at 10 the previous night there were only 4 moths in all the  traps!  Fortunately the sky had clouded over in the early hours and there was enough action to fill over 2 hours of torturing moths in the cause of education.

What did I learn?  That Marbled carpets and Canary shouldered Thorns are the real toughies of the moth world, turning up to the party and refusing to go away; that I should have invited the badgers to put in an appearance( two tawny owl hoots don't really cut it with today's 8 year olds) that I should study caddis flies and star formations ...and don't take the dog, its just one more child under the requisite age!
Many thanks to Karen who was backstop this morning and Jim who lifted the ten ton jenny back into the van, oh yes, and to all those who turned up and waited in good humour and were suitably enthralled by a very few, but nevertheless stunning, members of the moth community.
Sorry no pics but there will be on the Coed Y Bont facebook page as all the young 'uns had camera phones and spotted the potential in the face-on C Sh Thorn look ( see Sarah's post)!

2 comments:

  1. You have my sympathy. I did a public event in woodland at a National Trust site called Ashridge about 3 years ago, in July. Pretty safe you'd think? Not a chance, by midnight when they all turned up from their successful bat walk, 4 mv light traps had collected precisely one moth. I went through the same gap filling exercise you must have done.
    There are some excellent star identification apps for the smartphones these days. I have 2 installed that identify all the stars and constellations in the sky, even when cloudy, something to consider for next time perhaps. I've also got a satellite identification app at the ready. But very brave to run such an event in late September in Ceredigion.

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  2. Okay, now I know you have both suffered...so I will forgive the both of you for your comments on our attempt on the dunes a couple of weeks ago. (Did you switch the light on??? and you're not trying hard enough!!!) ;-)
    Well done anyway Liz, I'm sure your audience enjoyed it.

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