Thursday, 10 May 2018


I do like a film where not much happens. I can really recommend this French film from 2014 (no, not the American survivalist tosh) which is about the rave culture and the garage music that went with it. It is a beautiful, poignant story of a life, perhaps (and certainly) wasted. The music is essential and brilliant, the filming is original, and (spoiler alert) the characters age. A further spoiler, the film ends with a poem, The Rhythm by the American poet Robert Creeley, more reason to enjoy.

Give life back to music - Daft Punk

I had a bit of Steely Dan splurge this evening listening to The Royal Scam and Aja, in quick succession and subjecting older daughter to this music from 42 and 41 years ago. Every note, every drum beat and every word carefully considered. I especially like the chorus to Deacon Blues,

They got a name for the winners in the world
I want a name when I lose

Home at last condenses the essence of Homer's Odyssey to twelve lines and a four line chorus.

Some insect success - the Emperor Moth pheromone lure I purchased works rather well, the only problem is they keep flying, not especially good for photography. I have had one in the garden and one down by The Shunan as well as in more familiar moorland locations. So far this year nine species of moth, dominated by Hebrew Character.

A new beetle for me was located in a puddle at Hobbister, when we were unsuccessfully looking for Orcas. After a bit of a struggle with my ancient beetle summary book and the Mike Hackston key I was happy to come to the confident conclusion that it was the Chrysomelid beetle Lochmaea suturalis. It is a tad tricky from L.caprea but I got there in the end, thanks LJ for some help to leap the final hurdle. No checking further anyway as the wee blighter escaped.

The slightly shiny pronotum and the pale spot on the head seem to nail it, I couldn't see the abdominal feature as this is a female I think, but I don't think you can tell just by looking at the beetle.

Another success was this tiny Dipteran found whilst taking photographs of flowers under the hawthorn (Cretagus monogyna)  hedge. 

Molophilus ater

This was first found in Orkney in 2016 on South Ronaldsay and has been recorded but once since I think. A first record for Mainland. Thanks again to LJ, this time I just asked, a lot of time can be spent trying to id Dips, our county recorder is most helpful.

Marsh Marigold


Rather like our cars, owning three but having one working (or at least available to me), I'm down to the Olympus Tough at the moment (and the occasional borrow of Louise's Sony) (Mollie has the Nikon after her one had a bit of an accident). My Canon SX60 has caught the deadly Lens error a fatal condition. This is the second of this series of cameras, SX50 previously, that have succumbed to dirt in the lens system, in the last two years. I have decided that despite the very good results and ease of use of these models they are just not really suited to the use I'm putting them to. They have now gone up in price to just under £400 ish and Canon wanted the best part of £200 to repair my one, with a 90 day guarantee that would not cover the dust issue it's not an economic proposition. At least I don't need to worry about the Tough in this regard, and it does work digiscoping, but I've always found that a bit clumsy. Something new is required.

A trip or two to Yesnaby finally resuted in finding the target species:

 Chrysolina latecincta

A nationally rare beast indeed.

 Primula scotica

... and we did eventually catch up with the Orcas, distant views from The Foveran footpath.

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