Moth week was two weeks ago but I wasn’t able to stay up late enough to do much photography, especially as many days were raining heavily.
I finally got some time last weekend but as soon as I got all the equipment set up, the heavens opened and we got a really heavy thunderstorm. By the time it dried up enough for the bravest moths to venture forth, I was ready to go to sleep again. And then it took me almost another week to post these pictures. Better late than never, eh?
You can see the scale – this is a fairly standard mesh screen door: 7 squares to the cm.
The next three I haven’t identified yet – if I take the time I’ll never get this posted. Let me know if you know what they are – I’ll try later if I get time and update the post.
I took a lot more but they didn’t turn out as well as these. This other night-flier was much more clear than many of the moths.
It looks like a broad-winged dragonfly but I’m fairly sure it is a wasp. The “stinger” is for laying eggs – most of the ichneumons can’t sting with their ovipositor though a few have some venom.
Final moth: this leaf miner is a moth caterpillar. Imagine your entire world contained between the upper and lower surface of a leaf and then you transform and break into three dimensions.
It is quite difficult to photograph some moths. It is dark and they tend to scatter under lights so that doesn’t help. To make it worse, some are very small so you need a lot of magnification, which tends to need more light that you don’t have. I use a ring-light that attaches to the end of the lens. And finally they are usually intended to be camouflaged which also makes for some dull pictures.
But now I’ve figured it out, I’ll have another go on a night with better weather. Other nights we have had ten times the quantity and variety of moths but the need to work the next day means staying up late is a problem.
The way I did it was to hang a sheet outside the window and put a lot of lights inside to attract the moths. Then my ring light was relatively feeble and didn’t disturb them much. Then I set up a scaffold outside to shoot from. Memo: move about the scaffold first, focus on the moth after; do not walk about while looking through the viewfinder.
For good luck, the orchid in the window is a moth orchid (Phalaenopsis). The wooden square hanging from the ceiling on a chain has a couple of daylight floodlights screwed to it.
For some reason, Laurie suggested that all this meant that I was “bizarre”. Thanks to Lynn for suggesting an alternative word: “unique”. Although the fact that there is a moth week means that others do this too, so I think : “exceptional” is a good alternative.