Thursday, 26 August 2010

We get a phone call

This was weird.  Jenny went in to the Royal Vets College in Potters Bar this morning, despite being pretty stiff and sore from yesterday's crash, but she was home by about 2 o'clock and was taking it easy.  We were drinking tea and reading our books when the phone rang.

The woman on the phone didn't introduce herself but started telling me immediately how she had several elephant hawk moths in her garden, that her daughter had looked them up on the net to identify them and what should she do about them.

Somewhat flabbergasted I guessed they were caterpillars rather than adult moths, told her they were a good thing and then broke off to consult a book.  While doing so, I realised Jenny probably knew enough to short-circuit the whole process, so put her on the line.

Jen explained that they were probably about to pupate and the woman should ensure there was some bare earth where they could bury themselves, advised her about recording the sighting on www.butterfly-conservation.org (though the woman didn't know what a web page was) and finally enquired where she'd got our number from.

Apparently the daughter had seen an article in a paper and had got the number from that.  They thought we were some sort of environmental or conservation organisation.  Er...no, we're not, but fortunately we know a little bit about moths and stuff.  Jenny made her write down the URL so with luck the daughter will be able to record the catties.

So we've still got no idea how the woman came to ring our number.  Bizarre!

And in other news, I can tell you that we've had 79 mm (just over 3 inches in old money) of rain this month, which is twice the average for August.

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