Mystic moths

Having recently purchased a moth trap (a kind of box with an ultra-violet light sitting atop, that’s left outside overnight), I’ve been rediscovering the delights of moth trapping that I enjoyed as a child.

Even more wonderful is seeing my 8-year-old daughter share my enthusiasm as we open the trap in the morning (usually at the weekend) and photograph the moths, before releasing them into the garden.

A few days ago, we had our best catch yet: two Elephant Hawks, our first Poplar Hawk, our first two Buff-tips, a Large Yellow Underwing, and a number of others.

Poplar and elephant hawk
L-R: Elephant Hawk; Poplar Hawk

My excitement at discovering these incredible, colourful creatures in our urban back garden is matched only by my joy at seeing Hannah share that excitement.

Elephant hawk and buff tip
Elephant Hawk and Buff-tip (which disguises well as a stick)

It’s funny – we might think of wonder as something that’s experienced more acutely as children, when everything in the world is new. And that’s true. To an extent.

But wonder is also something that can grow in us, even as adults, through contemplation, meditation, prayer, gratitude, reading, and mindfulness, especially through spending time with nature.

Hawks and buff tip
Three of the most exciting moths of that night were found all bunched together

My relationship with, and wonder at, nature grows and deepens as I go on observing, photographing, and learning about the world around me. Nature informs my faith; my faith informs my love of nature. The two are inextricably entwined in my mind and soul.

What a privilege to share that sense of wonder with the next generation.

(All photos taken by me, but not copyright – i.e. feel free to use them, with my blessing!)




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