Equipment Introduction

/ in Equipment by Marek

Upon completion of the Moth House I then concentrated on the equipment necessary to utilize it in a way which would make the whole process of recording my subjects run more smoothly than before.

No more running round the garden trying to identify escaping insects as, hopefully, now they would be for the most part be in one area and, with a bit of luck, inside the moth house or at least on the outside looking in.

It was around this time that our favourite Indian restaurant changed from using polystyrene to plastic containers for the yogurts included with the meal.

These have proved ideal pots for our purpose but meant that we would need to get take-aways on a regular basis so that we had could maintain a sufficient number for our purpose.

This is a cross my family and I have had to bear in support of my hobby but have met this pain and hardship with the true bulldog spirit.

In fact recently they have begun putting the salad in much larger plastic pots instead of sandwich bags which are useful for Hawk-moths, so we'll need to continue the fight to enable us to replace the old and worn Coleslaw containers I had been using.

The camera in the picture is not in fact the camera used in and around this time which was actually an earlier model, the Canon PowerShot SX210 IS.

This camera had accompanied me for a number of years on my many walks on the South Downs, Lake District and Scotland including pictures taken at the summit of Ben Nevis.

This trusted friend had always been at my side connected to my belt with its wrist strap dangling outside the case so that I could slip my hand through the strap open the case and remove the camera without having to take my eyes off the narrow paths when walking the hills.

I still remember that fateful day, however, all too clearly now when my wife and I were on one of our weekly field trips which, on this occasion, just happened to be Pulborough Brooks.

We had completed a circular route which finished at the Visitor Centre when I realised something was missing and that maybe I should have paid more attention to the noise I had heard whilst pushing my way through some brambles earlier.

Suffice to say that we retraced our steps and reported my loss at the centre but to no avail and an old friend was lost forever.

The weights shown in the picture were made from lead sheet left over from repairing the shed roof and serve two main functions the first being to stop the wind blowing away the pots and thus releasing my models.

Also they can reduce any gaps between pot and cover.

I was finding some pots that I was sure contained very small micro moths to be empty, for which I couldn’t find a reason and was beginning to doubt my sanity, until I realised that it did not happen on days when I was using the weights.

Micro moths can be extremely small with some only 2-3mm in length and are able to make a break for freedom if there was the slightest gap. The weights, in part, reduce the chances of this happening.

The notepad and pencil of course need no real explanation and are solely for recording moths released and photographed.

The walkie talkies were extremely useful in the early days to communicate with my partner in crime who was busy in doors at the computer struggling with identifications while I was in the moth house recording, especially when it was raining.

They would also be useful on field trips especially abroad if we could only ever remember to pack them.

The paper knife proved to be helpful, if used carefully, in directing any shy moths hidden in the depths of an egg box into one of the yogurt containers while the fine bristled brush is an ideal method for reaching those places where mothers cannot reach.

The two coloured filing trays, retrieved from a skip, with permission, at a school where my wife worked, means I can separate moths which are for release and those to be photographed.

This only leaves the pot covers,rulers and table which leads me nicely to my next Sunday post which will be my introduction to photography, all being well.

A collection of the equipment we were using, a camera, notepad, pots, ruler a couple of walkie talkies and a few other misc bits
All you need is moths