29 June 2019

Our last day looking after Rosie the cocker spaniel. I’ve never known a dog so averse to walks, but I took her for a final drag down the bridleway just to remind her who was boss.

As we emerged on to the main track, I spotted a beautiful small moth flitting about the grass and bracken. It was soot-black, apart from on the extremes of its wing-tips, which were white. The second I stopped to observe the moth, the ever-optimistic Rosie decided I must be turning for home, and headed off back down the track as far as her extended lead would allow. In the meantime, I tried unsuccessfully to capture some reference photos of the moth with my phone. With an excited cocker spaniel tugging on her lead as I did so, this proved impossible. But subsequent Googling revealed the moth to be an aptly named chimney sweeper moth.

Having dropped Rosie off at her home, we drove to Mike D’s garden party in Manchester. The party was officially to launch his new garden pond. Any excuse. Jen and I sat at the side of the pond for half an hour, watching midges laying eggs in the water, while water-boatmen scudded about on the surface trying to capture them.

Later, while sitting on a garden chair, tucking into some excellent pulled pork, I spotted a tiny jumping spider on my trouser leg. I spent a happy five minutes encouraging the spider to jump back and forth between my leg and the arm of the garden chair. Massive leaps for such a minuscule creature.

Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
Buy my book: On the Moor: Science, History and Nature on a Country Walk
…wonderful. Science and history and geography and evolution and culture all tangled up in musings while walking about the moors around Hebden Bridge.”—PZ Myers
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