31 july - Muston moths

Red twin-spot carpet (Xanthorrhoe spadicearia)

Minimum temp 10.9 Centigrade
Moth species count 19
Total moth count 59

The rain has prevented good moth trapping recently and with the scarecrow festival on at the moment I am also reluctant to leave the moth trap on, so this is the first time I have run it this week.

There was nothing new but there has been an increase in broad-bordered yellow underwings and common rustics.

Udea prunalis

Dun-bar (Cosmia trapezina)
This is a moth that is very variable in colour, but its pattern is very distinctive. It fles between mid-July and mid-September and occurs anywhere, but particularly in woodlands.

Acleris forsskaleana

Lesser broad-bordered yellow underwing (Noctua janthe)
This resident moth flies between July and September and is found everywhere.

28 July - Muston Scarecrow Festival

Two heads are better than one

Walked around some of Muston with the kids last night and looked at the scarecrows. So far I have seen people just avoid being knocked down by cars, trespassing on peoples property, looking into house windows and wandering onto drives and into gardens, as well as wandering around in the rain. However on the whole most appear to be enjoying the increase in the use of straw and the decrease in plaster of Paris and papier mache this year.

Here is my favourite entitled 'The evolution of the scarecrow' (note the sticks, straw and old clothes).

27 July - Filey

The sun has been out and it is the school holidays - you won't see Filey this empty unless you get up very early!

More images in the North Yorkshire Coast gallery.

26 July - Muston Scarecrow (?) Festival and Competition

Well it is that time of year again. This began yesterday, but we were away.

We must start with a question: What is a scarecrow? According to the Collins English dictionary it is ' an object, usually in the shape of a man, made out of sticks and old clothes to scare birds away from crops.'
What is a model - 'a representation, usually on a smaller scale, of a device, structure etc'.

There are some complex designs this year. So come along to Muston and see if you can spot a scarecrow. However - and here is a plea - please do not come round in the dark. Yes, unbelievable though it is, there are visitors witnessed every year wandering around the village looking at scarecrows in the dark!

To see what can be achieved with papier mache I would recommend visiting these sites:

The papier mache resource

I'll try to add some pics this week, but it has not stopped raining - and so most of the papier mache is covered.

25 July - Cleveland Way

Nettle Dale

One of my current projects, that has been ongoing for a couple of years, is to produce a series of fine art prints of the Cleveland Way. So every now and then my wife and I walk another part of it. The secret to this is not just to walk in one direction. Most set off from Helmsley and walk to Sutton Bank. We decided to get the bus to Sutton Bank and walk back to Helmsley. If we had not I am sure we would have missed this view of the town and castle:


The great thing about walking at this time of year is the wildlife. There are more species of butterfly than any other time of year and the flowers are stunning. All you need is good weather (although as a photographer I like changeable weather).

Rosebay willowherb (Chamerion angustifolium)

Scented mayweed (Matricaria recutita)

24 July - Helmsley

The wife and I went to Helmsley for the weekend with the kids left with one set of grandparents. The wife likes castles and there is a good one here. The above shot is an HDRI created in Photomatix Pro and converted to black and white with Silver Efex Pro.

If you can find a spot without people Helmsley is a beautiful town.

A rain cloud rolls in across the classic British countryside near Terrington, which is north of York.

For more images see the North York Moors and the North Yorkshire - the rest galleries.

18 July - Muston moths

Minimum temp 15.1 Centigrade
Moth species count 34
Total moth count 122

I got up for dawn and landscapes, but it was dull with amorpous grey cloud, as well as windy. The worst weather for landscapes, so I stayed in.

Moths included the tiny Phyllonorycter geniculella which was new to the garden:
This image was taken with a 40D and MP-E65 at 3x lifesize. Fill flash was from an MT24EX.

Eudonia truncicolella.
This is a common species that flies between July and August in woodland.

Grey/dark dagger (Acronicta tridens/psi)
These two species can only be separated by dissection of their genitalia.

Timothy tortrix (Aphelia paleana)
It flies in June to August in damp, rough ground. Note it is plain with a yellowish tinge.

Barred straw (Eulithis pyraliata)
This moth flies from late May to late August in all but northern Scotland. It is found in gardens, woodland, roadside verges and rough grassland.

Dark arches (Apamea monoglypha)

Silver Y (Autographa gamma)
Interestingly there were 6 of these in the trap this morning having had less than this all year, despite seeing upto 20 feeding in the garden at dusk on the red and white valerian.

Diamond-back moth (Plutella xylostella)
This species of micromoth migrates to Britain from mainland Europe.
This is another photo taken at greater than lifesize with the MP-E 65 at 2.5x lifesize.

17 July - Muston moths

Clouded border (Lomaspilis marginata)

Minimum temp 13.6 Centigrade
Moth species count 60
Total moth count 145

New for the year was this buff arches (Habrosyne piritoides)

Gold spot (Plusia festucea) preparing for take-off

Mother of Pearl (Pleuroptya ruralis)

Common rustic (Mesapamea secalis)

Smoky wainscot (Mythimna impura)

Eucosma cana

Grey tortrix (Cnephasia stephensiana)

Ancylis apicella

Eudonia mercurella

Scalloped oak (Crocallis eliguaria)

Dark spinach (Peluga comitata)

Acleris forsskaleana

14 July - Muston moths

Minimum temp 13.2
Moth species count 42
Total moth count 100

A warmer night which was dry. There were 3 new moths for the year: true lover's knot, angle shades and Celypha striana.

Angle shades (Phlogophora meticulosa)

Male large fruit-tree tortrix (Archips podana)

True lover's knot (Lycophotia porphyrea)
A common moth usually found in acid heathland and high moorland. It may breed on cultivated heathers which is why it may be found in gardens far from its usual habitat. It flies from June to August.

True lover's knot - this image was converted to infrared to get an impression of what creatures that see this way see when the lepidoptera look so camouflaged to our eyesight.

12 July - Muston moths

Minimum temperature 10.4 Centigrade. Showery.
Moth species count 53
Total moth count 124

A reasonable night. New to the garden was the yellow shell. A broad-bordered yellow underwing was the first of the year, as was a common rustic. There were 2 Mother of Pearl micromoths that were firsts for the year.

Common emerald (Hemithea aestivaria)
A single generation moth flying late June to late July. It flies from dusk visiting flowers after dark, such as wild privet and creeping thistle. Its habitat is woodlands, hedgerows, scrub on heathland and downland, and gardens.

Marbled minor (Oligia strigilis)

Yellow shell (Camptogramma bilineata)

Double square-spot (Xestia triangulum)
This is a rather pale example. It is a single generation moth that flies from June to early August. It is common throughout Britain and is found in deciduous woodland, hedgerows and gardens.

Dot moth (Melanchra persicariae)
It is obvious where this moth's name came from.

Large yellow underwing (Noctua pronuba)
This is one of the commonest moths in summer and its numbers are now noticably increasing with 21 in the trap this morning. It flies from June to October or November. It is ubiquitous and common th
roughout Britain.

Flame shoulder (Ochropleura plecta)

Common wainscot (Mythimna pallens)

Broad-bordered yellow underwing (Noctua fimbriata)
This moth flies between July and September. It emerges in July and then hides until August/September. It is found in wooded areas and in limited numbers in gardens throughout mainland Great Britain.

Plum tortrix (Hedya pruniana)
Small magpie (Eurrhypara hortulata)

Lozotaenia forsterana
The largest tortrix. It flies in June and July when it is common in parks, gardens and woods.

Pseudargyrotoza conwagana

Mother of Pearl (Pleuroptya ruralis)

Male yellow tail (Euproctis similis)

The black dot on the forewing identifies this as a male. The female is all white. Its yellow tail is displayed when it feels threatened.