Monday, June 7, 2010


Here's just one of them, perched momentarily on the outside of a lampshade. Many more are flapping around inside it; others are thrashing against a skylight; some are fluttering between the blinds and the windows. Alice rescued thirty or forty, using a glass and a sheet of stiff paper, and let them loose outside, where they've probably disappeared into mockingbirds. A sizable number went into LucyFur, and were subsequently regurgitated. I found one hiding inside the spigot that one uses to get iced water from the fridge. A total of three were found drowned this morning in the bowl of soapy water that Maria Roberts suggested that we place under a bright light. I suppose that's better than none.

It's curious: we don't get this plague every year - I think the last time was 2005 - and it vanished quite quickly (that year it was succeeded by a thirty-six hour swarm of flying ants - I hope they don't appear this time round). I took up a copy of Ouida's 1880 novel Moths, thinking it might be an appropriate accompaniment (or, since it's quite thick, a useful implement to squash them with), but as usual with Ouida, I couldn't get past more than a couple of her slushy paragraphs. Maybe I should try (another of Maria's suggestions) a candle - but truly, that seems too dangerous. Woolf and her siblings used to catch moths by the score in summer - on sticky prepared surfaces - which means that they turn up periodically in her fiction - but truly, I can't make much of a literary case for the presence of these ones.

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