Friday, 13 November 2009
Right at the end of October, I found a fairly unimpressive green caterpillar after dark feeding on what remained of our lavender. Other than it obviously being a noctuid, I had no idea what species it was and boxed it for a closer look the next day. Next day came and it had abandoned the food plant and spun-up in the kitchen roll, so I thought no more about it. Tonight I happened to notice that a moth had already emerged - that's just less than two weeks, and I can't be certain it didn't emerge earlier in the week. Anyway, it was a Silver Y - a completely unexpected addition to the garden breeding lepidoptera list that I haven't compiled. Reading Porter, it does indicate that the its normal 8-week egg to adult life-cycle can be dramatically compressed when confined indoors. The phone rang, and the lady of the house answered - "Hello, is that Mrs Smith?" "Yes, Mrs Smith speaking, who's calling?" "Mrs Smith, this is Dr Jones from the hospital. I'm afraid I'm calling with some terrible news from your husband's recent exploratory checks" "On no - what's wrong?" "Well, the trouble is Mrs Smith that we have two sets of results for a Mr Smith and we cannot be sure which results are your husband's - but it's not good either way" "Well - what is the news?" "Your husband either has chronic Alzheimer's or Syphilis" "Oh my God - what do we do now?" "We suggest you drive your husband into town this evening and leave him there. If he finds his way home, don't ever sleep with him again!"