Not Enough for a Stole

White Ermine Caterpillar
White Ermine Caterpillar

We were on our way back home and, after crossing the beck, we started up the long hill that takes us back to the lofty heights that we inhabit. Well, I have to confess that our hill isn’t really that high but the beck has been chiselling away for ages and it makes for a brisk pace on the outward, downward, journey, but nothing like so brisk a return.

Halfway up the hill I was pleased to find this chap trundling across the road. He had remembered his green cross code and, having looked in the correct directions the requisite number of times, which I can’t actually remember myself – but I’m sure you can, he was going straight across, not dawdling, at a steady pace. I stopped, to take his picture of course, not to get my breath back, and managed to take a couple of pictures before he disappeared into the jumbled verge on the other side.

On this occasion, I’m sorry to say, Google was no help at all and I was forced to resort to the in-depth knowledge of Wild About Britain. “It’s a White Ermine” came back the answer. As always, once you know what you’re looking for, Google can find you a dozen references. He may look like an ugly black bug in this guise but he is a quite stunning, brilliant white moth with a few small black spots on his wings to accent his chosen colour scheme.

You might wonder how he manages, as a bright white moth, not only to survive but to be quite common, and with such obvious disregard for any attempt to dissemble, for dissimulation or even just a bit of camouflage.

Simple really, once you know – he’s poisonous.

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