Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Moths lured off-track

Dun-bar moth
Dun-bar moth, originally uploaded by mike(toons).

Moths must hate all the lights we burn. Thinking that it must be the moon or a particularly bright star, many moths spiral towards bright lights and completely lose their bearings. If it's the proverbial candle flame they lose their lives.

For several million years moths perfected their navigation system and then clever-clogs humans come along, lighting fires, inventing incandescent bulbs and bedecking the planet with all manner of unnecessary, dazzling and unnatural artificial daylight.

I've just added to their woes. The light on the garage wall which illuminates the back gate and garden path had been unused since the 60 watt bulb had failed several months ago. I'd got fed up of feeding the damn thing with fragile bulbs which only lasted three or four months.

A visit to the DIY megawarehouse in Chippenham provided me with a new high-tech replacement. A light-sensor-activated low-energy bulkhead lamp using only 16 watts of power.

Poor moths. Every morning there are at least four lost souls dotted around the new lamp wondering why they are where they are and trying to blend their brilliant camouflages, acquired by natural selection in a more natural world, against my red brick garage wall.

1 comment:

Elliot said...

The more moths explode into flame the better. I can't stand them - mottephobia, I think it's called - but thankfully it's a fear that's subsiding as I get older.

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