Second compartment, right on the top of the topmost egg box. There is was. The wonder of the day.
Until that moment it had only existed on the pages of my guide books but now there is was, sat motionless on the faded cardboard in front of me.
The Merveille du Jour. MDJ.
Jaw dropped. I went a little giddy with the surprise and excitement. I composed myself and thought "Should I be getting this excited over a moth?"
I have been properly moth trapping for four years and I have a long and impressive list of species that I have caught and an archive of photographs that I am really pleased with. But there are gaps in the list and archive and none larger than the space left by the absence of the Merveille du Jour.
As soon as I saw it in the book I knew I wanted to see one. Its colours and markings are just fantastic. Now I had one.
It is lichen brought to life.
Translated from the French MDJ means Wonder of the Day.
It even looked impressive on the back of the camera.
As stunning as the marks, colours and patterns are...
... they are equally functional.
Its legs were awesome too.
A glance at the watch showed an hour and a half had disappeared under the oak being used as a makeshift studio. The lichen covered branches a perfect home for my favourite moth.
Wonder of the Day.
Merveille du Jour.