The Elephant Hawk Moth (from Wikipedia)
Peter Martin, President of Fleet Pond Society, writes:
“Most people would regard butterflies as beautiful creatures, but some have an aversion to moths, either because they dislike the fluttering around nearby light sources or due to the holes created in their clothing by clothes-moth caterpillars. It may, therefore, surprise you to learn that one of my favourite pets has been a moth caterpillar.
The Elephant Hawk Moth (see above) lays its ‘whitish-green’ eggs on Willow Herb in June and I was lucky enough to find one of the resulting fully-grown caterpillars crawling across the earth one August looking for somewhere to pupate. They normally do this just below the level of the soil and, to make sure that my caterpillar would not be affected by anything within a sample that I scooped up, I sterilised a small amount before putting it into a container with the caterpillar. As expected, it burrowed into the earth and, through the glass I could see when it had pupated.
If you look at an Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar (see below), you will probably think that it is one of the ugliest of creatures, although very aptly named. I had to wait patiently until the following June for the moth to emerge from the chrysalis, but what a beautiful sight was in store for me. The difference between the moth and the caterpillar was like “beauty and the beast”.
The Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar (from Wikipedia)
Having run a moth trap during some summer nights, I have had the opportunity to see that all moths are not as dowdy as some people would think. Before letting them go, there is a chance to look at them closely and even the wings of the tiniest moths often have really beautiful colour patterns when seen through a magnifying glass or microscope.”
Ed. Related articles by Peter Martin that may also be of interest include:
The theme for the 2017 Fleet Pond Society (FPS) Photographic Competition is:
‘Beauty and the not so…’
This year’s theme is a “warts and all” celebration of all aspects of Fleet Pond Nature Reserve from the beautiful to the still eye-catching but not so cute. This interesting theme leaves a lot to your imagination and interpretation!
The rules of the competition are:
- Entry is open to all amateur photographers and there is no entry fee.
- All photographs must have been taken at Fleet Pond Nature Reserve.
- The taking of photographs using drones or aerial cameras is prohibited.
- All entries must be received by 7th January 2018 (up to 4 photographs per person).
The “Photographer of the Year” will receive the annually awarded Rose Bowl, which was donated by Fleet Photographic.
Please note that all photographs may be used by FPS for any purpose it chooses.
Please send your entries by email to email@example.com
All photographs that are received will be acknowledged and the winners will be announced at the FPS AGM in February 2018.
To see the results of previous competitions, please take a look at the FPS web site (under the Photography tab at the top).
The winning entry for the 2016 FPS Photographic Competition by Rachel Jones. The theme was ‘Seasons’.
A poster of the winning photographs for the 2016 FPS competition
The results of the 2016 FPS Photographic Competition were announced at the FPS AGM held in February. The theme for 2016 (‘Seasons’) captured people’s imagination and there was an impressive number of entries.
Our judge, Kevin Whibley of ‘Captured Moment’ photographic studio in Fleet was extremely thorough in making his selection. He stated that: ‘ Just as every person who takes a photograph sees something different in a scene, every judge looks for something different in a photograph.’
As well as looking for photographs that reflected the ‘Seasons’ theme, Kevin was looking for sharp focus, well framed pictures with good composition, colour and atmosphere.
He projected all the photographs onto a big screen and narrowed the number down to 41. He then printed these and spread them out on a big table to make his final selection. You can read Kevin’s illuminating comment on each photograph here.
The winning photos from previous competitions can be viewed at the FPS web site (see under the Photography tab).
Also, see the FPS Flickr Group for additional inspiration and interest!
Here’s a larger version of the impressive winning image from Rachel Jones:
Fleet Pond Society (FPS) will be having it’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) this Saturday, 18th February 2017.
It will be held in St. Philip & St James Church Hall, Kings Rd, Fleet and will start at 7:15 pm. There is free car parking to the rear of the church hall (accessed down the drive to the right of the church accessed from Kings Road).
All members of the public are welcome to attend, not just members of FPS.
Why attend? Items of interest include:
- An overview of the impact that FPS makes to the upkeep of the Pond and it’s contribution to the local community
- An opportunity to question the Committee on any matters that may concern you
- Volunteer of the Year Award
- The results of the popular FPS Photographic Competition
- A raffle (in case you’re feeling lucky!)
There will also be an opportunity for refreshments.
We look forward to seeing you there.
This unusual photo of the secretive Water Rail catching a small bream at the margins of the ice at Fleet Pond was kindly provided by John Sutton.
See also here.