I have been absent from Ipernity for a few weeks and especially this last one, so I'm a bit behind on commenting and replying to comments and I thought I would take a moment to explain myself.

One of the things I spend a bit of time doing this time of year is going to a few schools or youth groups and doing a talk about moths. This has earned me the nickname 'The Moth Lady', which doesn't bother me and I always tell the kids its because Moths are sooo cool. By the end of my talks most kids agree that moths are pretty cool and not just brown dusty creatures that fly at night. Of course the point of these talks is not just to champion the plight of the moth per say, but to get them interested in the nature around them, and make them realize that it can be seen in almost any enviroment if they just know how to look.

While doing one of these 3 years ago, a friend and coodinator for Combe Valley Countryside Park asked me if I would be willing to do one at the Open Day/Family Fun Day they were organizing, and of course I said yes. We went out to the park Moth Trapping the night before and brought the moths we caught back the next day to show the kids what we found. That one had one marquee, with me and a table, I did a talk about moths and then they all went on a bug hunt to use their new found knowledge of the camoflauge insects/moths use to hide during the day. We had a great turn out that time, I think we estimated 20-25 kids plus adults. Incidently the adults seem to get just as much out of the talks as the kids do, Bonus!!

The following year, I had expected the same sort of set up when asked to do this again, I have a pretty standard set of talks that I do, Life cycle, Camoflauge, and Gardening for Moths/Wildlife. We did the trapping the night before which had a few folks from the public come down to see us catching the moths, and then the next day when I got to the Open Day, there were about 12 Marquees with different groups or organizations and instead of me having a set time to do a talk, we had people coming in from 12:00 to 4:00 wanting to know about moths and see what we had caught. I would say we must have had 60-80 kids and well over 100 adults, I was busy off my feet and a bit unprepared.

So this year I decided to get set up so that I could talk about moths and such but there were other things folks could do or see to get them excited. We got a small marquee, and pasting table and set to work building goodies for the kids to have, along with printing information for bigger people. Sadly, by the time I was set up and ready for folks to come along, there were folks coming along! So I had no time to get photos of the finished set up, which I'm kicking myself for today..lol

We built two gigantic caterpillars to have lazing around the rocks holding down coloring pages and Sussex Moth Group information.

We also built two giant moths that hung about everyones heads from the rafters, a Cinnabar and a Grey Dagger, although they looks a bit like moth puppies to me...lol

We also decided that it would be cool to have something for the kids to have and play with, so we decided that Moths on a Stick would be fun, and Caterpillars. It was with military precision that we spent days cutting felt wings, Done. Cutting scraps for designs, Done. Glueing eyes on, Done. etc...you get the idea. We were making and cutting and glueing and printing right up to the last minute before to finish everything in time.

In the end we did finially finish them all, over 100 in total, as I had no idea how many might show up.

Of course some of what took so long was that we had to play with each one and make sure they passed quality standards..lol

So the day went well, the weather didn't help, with very gusty winds so not as many folks showed up as we had the previous year, but the ones that came were in love with moths, mission accomplished! The kids and adults learned lots about some of the nature right around them, because there were so few most of the kids got to hold a hawk moth on their hands (big excitment there), and loved the goodies. The most exciting part of the day for all, including many of the other stall holders was at the end when we released the moths, we had folks coming from miles it seemed, everyone wanted to help and the trees behind the Marquee were loaded with Elephant Hawk Moths.

So the supplies I've got now made up will be ready for the next talk we are doing on 3 Aug for a village near by, and this my friends is why I have been absent from Iperntiy for the last two weeks. I hope get caught up on some uploads and comments very soon, as soon as I've caught up on my sleep :)