One unseasonably warm Sunday afternoon in October we were sitting in the garden. The tide in the aperitif was on the ebb pulling the eyelids down with it. Then, just as the hypnagogic state took hold, a strange motion blurred into view. It seemed the size of a bee, a very large bee with extraordinary wings, but behaved like a hummingbird. As it drifted in and out of focus it seemed this could only be some kind of hallucination which sparked the following internal conversation.
‘What the devil is that?’
‘Don’t know mate. Maybe you’re just seeing things.’
‘Do you think there’s something in the wine doing this?’
‘Is it legal?’
Well, there wasn’t anything illegal or immoral in the wine we had, in fact, seen our very first hummingbird hawk moth. At least that’s what we think it was. It hung around long enough for us to make a little video to share. The video has a pair of bookends. The first is a tiger moth that showed up one morning in the library shortly after we moved in. Even after we’d released it into the garden it seemed quite happy to sit with us and soak up the sun. The tag end came through the kitchen window more recently. Early one morning Saturn (very dim and to the left), the Moon and, I think, Venus were aligned in the dawn sky. Contemplating celestial bodies over a steaming mug of coffee is a great way to start any day.
(You may need to watch the video in Full Screen mode to see Venus at the top.)