Books Read 2020

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Moths, Mantises, and Millie


There was another public fireworks display last night, this time at the Hamilton Lake.  I watched most of it out of my bedroom window, although it was partially obscured by some distant trees.  It looked quite spectacular with the quarter-moon and Venus hanging in the sky above the display.

There are a lot of moths and bugs flying around at night and several seem to find their way into my bedroom each night.  The biggest one was a Moon Moth which I caught and released outside the next day.   Its colouring is good camouflage when sitting on the bark of this conifer.




The Moon Moth was large enough to cover half of my palm, much bigger than the fingernail-sized pale yellow Lacebark Looper Moth that committed mothicide in my cup of tea!

Moon Moths get their name from the circular spot on each wing.




We also have Praying Mantis around, mostly brown although some are green.  Apparently they can change colour when moulting so that they can better match the colour of their environment.

Son had to rescue this one from his daughter’s bedroom and relocate it outside.




Millie was sitting outside looking charming beneath a fern, so I just had to take her picture.




On the whole it has been a quiet day today.  I wrote an email to my daughter and made a pizza for our lunch, and then rewatched the movie Contagion, which I thought rather appropriate at this time.

The pizza was a simple one – a scone base topped with a can of spaghetti, grated cheese, chopped bacon and crushed pineapple, with a sprinkle of Italian Herbs over the top.  Baked 30 minutes at 200 degrees and everyone was happy!




Time now for a steaming hot cup of tea and do a puzzle or two in my new Pixel Puzzles book before preparing dinner.  Tonight we are having grilled steak with boiled new potatoes and steamed carrots and green beans.

Margaret.

14 comments:

  1. Fireworks with the drought!! Fire danger Extreme here and complete fire ban. Lots of Praying Mantis here. Love the Moon moth and your dinner sounds delicious.

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    1. We really don't understand why they allow these displays. We have a fire ban and water restrictions, and one has to wonder at the Council for giving permission for them (this is the second fireworks display in drought conditions).

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  2. Praying Mantises are fascinating insects and I always enjoy finding one. I have to confess your pizza sounds odd. We make a dough, smear that with tomato sauce, and then add whatever else we choose at the time and sprinkle it with a combination of mozzarella and parmesan cheese, and bake it on a stone in the oven. It is delicious. i would never have thought of adding any kind of pasta to it, and I had no idea that you can buy spaghetti in cans. Last night actually we had spaghetti for dinner. We always make batches of sauce so we have lots on hand, the pasta takes a mere eight minutes until it is ready, we added hot Italian sausage, and sprinkled with real Parmigiana cheese. A couple of glasses of wine helped it all go down!

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    1. I guess spaghetti in cans is a kiwi thing :) It is not really a traditional spaghetti, being very soft and nothing at all like your delicious-sounding homemade one, but it does make a quick and easy base for a simple pizza.

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  3. And I forgot to echo Susan's comments above. Setting off fireworks under drought conditions seems foolhardy if put kindly, gross stupidity if stated frankly.

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  4. The insects are such amazing creatures. Love the moon moth though its size is quite intimidating.

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    1. It was a very gentle fluttering moth - you would have loved it.

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  5. I went to look up whether we have Moon moths in Canada ( we do but only from the Maritimes to Saskatchewan) and discovered to my surprise that they have no mouth and exist on stored fat that they built up while in the caterpillar stage. And they live only a week. Very interesting.

    I also found your pizza very different. I've taken to making mine directly in my cast iron pan but my crust keeps being too thick although I roll it very thinly before putting it in the pan. I think I'll experiment with using half as much yeast as is called for.

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    1. I never knew that about moon moths. My book never mentioned that fact, yet it is so interesting to learn it.
      I seldom use a yeast dough for my pizza. This is a real quickie recipe so I only use a sort of scone mix for the base (flour, a little baking powder, a small pinch of salt, butter rubbed in, then mixed with milk). Not as nice, but it does the trick for a simple meal.

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  6. Such a pretty moth and Millie is stunning such a elegant looking kitty!

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    1. In the dark all you can see of Millie are her bright eyes - quite spooky sometimes when you get up at night.

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  7. I so love that moth...it has a quiet beauty. And that is a great shot of Millie. I don't remember if I saw one single praying mantis last summer....and normally we have at least one hatching of them and have babies everywhere.

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    1. I love rescuing the babies when they end up in the house, and then relocating them outside on a shrub. Years ago we also had katydids but I haven't seen one of those for a long time. I don't think ladybird bugs are as common anymore either.

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  8. The moth is beautiful, we often don't realy look at insects and see their beauty. Millie looks very good where she sit, framed by the fern :)

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