Monday, 24 October 2016

Hepialus humuli

I was in the garden today, doing some sketching. I spotted something attached to the spider webs that cover this big wall of ivy we have, and it was a dead moth.

I feel affection towards moths; they're so fuzzy and cute. So I took him down and the naturalist in me took some pictures of him lying on the ivy leaf. He has one black eye and one white eye, and it's just his exoskeleton and bits of fluff and wings left.

Why is your eye white, little moth?

It reminds me of a time last July, when I'd first moved into the other house. I was sitting outside and I spotted something fluttering among all the overgrown vines on the ground. It was a big fluffy orange moth, and it was covered in ants. It kept trying to fly away but couldn't. Its wings weren't working, and every time it touched the ground again more ants would crawl onto it. I was filled with horror at what it must be like to be eaten alive, so I saved it. I coaxed it onto a big leaf, carried it to a safe place and squished all the ants. After that it just lay there, and died. It was a beautiful moth, but its wings were deformed and different shapes to each other. It's hard to describe what I felt then. I wanted the moth to survive over the ants so I killed them, and then the moth died anyway. The moth would probably have never survived, but I couldn't just watch it be eaten. I tried in vain at the time to try and find out what moth it was but couldn't because the wings weren't a normal shape. Months later I was flicking through a nature book in a charity shop and saw it. It was a ghost moth, Hepialus humuli!

It was a female ghost moth that I saw because she was bright yellow. They're called ghost moths because the wings of the male are pure white and he hovers, rising and falling, over low ground in his search for a female. I think the one I found today is most likely a common swift, which is in the same family as the ghost moth. He definitely has a similar look about him. In death, that is. I didn't get to meet this one when he was alive.

It makes me wonder: their lives are so short, but do they feel as long as ours? I just can't equate our long lifespan to the less than a year they get. Does a second feel like a minute to them? Do they even have a concept of time? Probably not. I suspect we humans are one of the few that have evolved a sense of our own existence, rather than the live-eat-breed-die that drives everything else. Does a moth ever feel it's coming near the end of its life? Does it ever think of all the little eggs it's laid? Or is it driven by pure instinct? It makes me sad to think of a life that's so easily taken. We don't have predators, we don't have to find our own food, we don't breed every year of our adult lives. In return we're left with such an abundance of free time that we don't know what to do with it so we invent philosophy and think there must be a meaning to it all. Maybe that's why seeing a dead moth brings such a feeling of insignificance to me. I get the same feeling from looking out at the cosmos.

We are all made of star stuff, moths and all.

Limpet x

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Crochet Cuttlefish

And now for something lighter! I tried out the free pattern I posted last month to make a crochet cuttlefish, and then made him a friend using a different pattern just to spice things up a bit. I chose these father fetching purple colours which don't have a name or a brand really they're just cheap from The Range. My frugal nature just winces at spending more than about £2.50 on a ball of wool, and the supermarket is good enough quality for me.

Two different patterns of crochet cuttlefish.

The dark purple cuttlefish I made using the pattern already posted on this blog here. It ended up a lot bigger than I was expecting, and the head and body don't really need to be done separately. I do like the almond body shape and the eye bulges though.

The light purple cuttlefish is also a free pattern here; he's a bit smaller and rounder. I slip stitched around the head and body join just to make it a bit clearer, and also added two tentacles. (Cuttlefish have six arms and two longer tentacles for grabbing food.)

What I've realised from making these cuties is that I think I could make my own patterns. I've got a good grasp of shapes now and tentacles especially are really fun to make. My next project is a dragon for a friend who'll be in the same purples. If anyone has any ideas or patterns you want to see me try just let me know.

Crochet is fun!

Limpet x

Saturday, 15 October 2016

S.A.D. but it's Alright

Just wanted to drop a quick note to say that, actually, I am okay. I'm going to be okay. Things are pretty good at the moment. Physics is going well- I've learned so much my brain feels like it's going to drop out. I'm trying to wrangle myself a job at a company that develops optical fibres on Mondays and Wednesdays since my days are free. And finally, it's nice to have money again! My pub work covers all the rent and food and stuff so I've got my student finance sitting pretty and untouched.

Yesterday I ordered a lamp with the power of a thousand suns that's supposed to help with seasonal depression. So when I have to be indoors at home studying, the light from that can gently warm my face and convince my body that it's summer! Yesterday I also organised a trip to see a school friend in London that I miss, and got back in touch with a few people.

The future is bright and all that, even if it doesn't feel like it sometimes.

Limpet x

Friday, 14 October 2016


I'm starting to think I may have SAD- Seasonal Affective Disorder. It was around this time last year that I started to get really depressed, and this time there's no situational reason for it. I don't know what to do, I feel so terrible. Just crying for no reason and feeling useless and feeling like I have no friends and I'm somehow not good enough as a person. I can't keep myself busy enough to ignore it.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Mushroom Forest

Today was stomping around the New Forest, that turned into a mushroom hunt just because there were so many. We found some edible ones- chanterelles and portobello, and some deadly ones- death caps.
Here's a cute little baby death cap!

You can click on the photo to see a few more pictures from the day. I just love being outdoors though, it makes me happy. And when I'm happy I want to share that with all of you!

Forests and fungi,
Limpet x

Monday, 3 October 2016

Goal 9: Go Back to University

Today's the day! Today I go back to university! It's been a very long 9 months and I feel like a completely different person. I've had so much life experience since then, and illnesses both physical and mental have matured me a lot as a person. I haven't become cynical, of course not, but I know what the real world is like now. Things are serious, and I'm ready to do what it takes to get my degree and my dream physicist career afterwards.

Love yourself, you can do it! Don't give up!

Limpet x

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Goal 36: Go Fossil Hunting

It was the best Sunday, and exactly the kind of thing I wanted to get from my Big Old To-Do List. I had an amazing time doing something I wouldn't have usually done and it made me a very happy little limpet.

And of course, there were a lot of limpets on the beach.

As promised last week, here's a photo dump of the fossil hunting part of my day.