Bird's Eye View of Bute

The Poplar Hawkmoth

(1) The Poplar Hawkmoth
(1) The Poplar Hawkmoth


The Poplar Hawkmoth.
Now is the time that Cleg-fly, Wasps, the Midge and many other undesirables will land on us poor unsuspecting public.


The worst being the Cleg-fly. (Common Horse Fly) It lands on us silently and sometimes unseen, and the first that we noticed it is when it digs into our skin, so we then give it a smack to kill it. Some say that it is the wrong thing to do as hitting then from above may well push the filth that it got from some other person or animal into you. Some say that hitting them with side swat will stop this infusion of filth, but not killing it, leaving it free to inject into others. The decision is yours.
Instinctively, you will give it a hard smack without thinking about what is the right or wrong way; you only want to be rid of it, as I do. They don’t’ bother me too much as I don’t come out in lumps as most others do. Maybe this is because I have been bitten that many times going back many -many years, that I have become immune to them?
The Bees seem to be ok, going about their business getting pollen, but the wasps are another pain in the backside, or wherever it stings you. Swat them with whatever is a hand and if they land on the ground, finish them off with your size Tens boots (men’s) or size five shoes (ladies) Nasty things indeed. Having one wasp in a moving car is a recipe for disaster. As far as I can remember, it is an offence to drive on with one in a car. This has happened to me many years go. Driving along on a busy motorway with family, and it being a warm day the Quarter Light windows open (Open and pointed in the way to force wind in to keep us cool), enter one lost wasp looking for the way back out and the family screaming, traffic in front and behind (no hazard lights in these days) no layby at hand. I just wound down the window and fortunately the wasp left. Not a nice thing to happen.
The Dreaded Midge! Nothing more to be said that has not been said before.

Now we come to larger things. Like butterflies. They are all lovely, but if one lands on you, it can give you a real fright and you will swat it first then check it out, and then realize it meant you no harm. These good days we had a while ago meant that they hatched out on time, then the very cold weather came, and all was lost. The food plants blossomed, but nothing to feast on them.
Moths? Well the small ones are ok, but when the bigger ones appear, problems galore.
There was a call for help in one house about a Bat inside it. They could not get in contact with me, which is just as well as that is not my department. Eventually they got in contact with Glyn, the Moth Man. Who identified the Bat as the ‘Poplar Hawkmoth’, not a bat at all, but it being 70 mm nearly three inches across and grey in colour, it looked like bat as you now see.
And on the same day I got one of the same at the CO-OP I Bridge Street. On the ground sound asleep. That was a first for me as the only other Hawkmoth that I have seen is the Privit one.

Norrie Mulholland

First Published in the Buteman 26-07-2013



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