Fan-foot, Dun-bar and the Silver Y

Silver Y Moth, Autographa gammasilver yAlthough it’s years since I last saw a Silver Y moth, Autographa gamma, I didn’t have any difficulty in putting a name to it, thanks to the conspicuous calligraphic Y on its wing. This is the first time that it has turned up inSilver Y sketch┬áthe moth trap and that could be because, as an immigrant each year to Britain, it has taken until now to reach Yorkshire.


dun-barThere are so many brownish, streaked little moths, both micro and macro, that I find drawing them gives me my best chance of picking out the pattern as I look through the field guide. Taking a close look at this, I noticed that the two bands and the inconspicuous dot made a pattern like a carnival mask, enabling me to identify it as the Dun-bar, Cosmia trapezina, a common moth from lowland Scotland southwards, wherever there are trees.



While I sketched these moths Barbara went through the book and came up with a name for this obscure-looking delta-winged little moth. It’s the Fan-foot, Zanclognatha tarsipennalis, a common moth of woods, hedges and gardens.

The the three lines on its wing are;

  1. curved/wavy
  2. like a question mark
  3. almost straight

with a row of fine dashes along the edge of the wing.

Orange Swift

orange swift

Lets have an easier moth; the male of the Orange Swift, Hepialus sylvina, has a bright orange-brown forewing. It’s larvae feed on herbceous plants including dock, dandelion and bracken.


small yellow underwinglarge yellow underwingThese two underwings are so regular in the moth trap that I tend to ignore them so that I thought it was about time that I made a quick sketch of them.

Pentax Prints

shoe on the beach 1973

Pentax Spotmatic 1000Rummaging through my file drawer for some photographs for an article I was surprised to find that I still have the negatives from a three week course that I took at the Royal College of Art in early spring, 1974 including this old shoe on the strandline taken on a day trip to the south coast.

contact prints

Looking through them brings back vivid memories of that period, for instance, these contact prints from the still life session include long forgotten details of my everyday life; keyring, pens, bus ticket and anorak label.

Read more in my article Just handle a Pentax in the Retro Tech series in the Currys photography blog.