I am sorry about this, but if you don't like insects look away now. This weekend is all about one insect in particular, the Death's Head Hawk-moth Acherontia atropos.
This morning a small, but quality, audience came up north to pay homage to our newly emerged DHM. It is a British specimen, the caterpillar having been found by Victoria Doleman, near her home in Northamptonshire. We can't thank her enough for being sharp eyed and having the foresight to wonder about the large yellow thing creeping across the path before her. Cheers Vic!
A month later and we have a pristine example of Atropos. It is quite a subdued fellow, spending most of its time motionless while guests filled their cameras and phones with Halloween images, an opportunity that might take a very long time to repeat.
Today was the first time we have carefully handled the moth, and were eager to hear its well known 'squeaking' behaviour. Everyone was delighted when it ran up Jane's arm squeaking like mad, waving those white tipped antennae around and flashing blue and yellow, body and hind wings.
If you would like to see it, please give us a visit tomorrow morning, where we will be at Howick Village Hall again from 10am to 12 noon. We are about 7 miles east of Alnwick, just south of Craster, on the coast.
Expect more of the same on tomorrow's blog....its well worth it.