Wolds Diary: Lime green caterpillar was a thing of beauty

There may be one more Poplar Hawk Moth flying in the Wolds soon.
There may be one more Poplar Hawk Moth flying in the Wolds soon.

I had a wonderful surprise this week. I was contacted by my church to say a parcel had been delivered for me at the vicarage and was being held in the church office.

I went in to see what it was and it was a box of the most beautiful ties donated by a someone from Wakefield.

Already I have incorporated them in to the current quilt I’m constructing. Some people are so kind.

It has been, apart from one day, very warm this week.

I’ve been outside as much as possible and on the day it rained non-stop it was so chilly I resorted to putting the heating on for the evening.

I’ve been really getting to grips with the wilder parts of my garden and have been busy with the strimmer. So much so, I have used one roll of strimmer plastic wire.

I was clearing an area of long grass when I saw a huge caterpillar and stopped to rescue it. It was quite beautiful, a virulent lime green with fancy iridescent blue stripes, an impressive thorn-like spike on the tail and a blue head.

I put it in a safe place and rushed inside to identify it.

Having looked it up on the internet I found it was a Poplar Hawk moth caterpillar.

Although I don’t have many large trees in my garden, there’s a wood across the road.

My buddleia trees are the meeting centre for wonderful butterflies in great numbers. Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Red Admirals, Cabbage Whites and some smaller blue ones which look like sapphires as they glint in the sun.

At night the moths come to these bushes and I’ve seen several different kinds. In the front area by the bins I disturbed a couple of frogs who obviously appreciate the shade.

I went to a meeting on the Monday night, and was able to donate some fresh lettuce, some courgettes and some beans to the raffle. These were quickly snapped up especially when I confirmed they were organic. While there my friend gave me a huge bunch of peacock feathers.

Allegedly it is unlucky to have them in the house. I don’t know why because they are quite stunning.

On Wednesday I’d been invited to speak to a WI group at Thornhill, just the other side of Dewsbury.

I’d never actually been to this part of Yorkshire before. I drove over, fortunately allowing loads of extra time, and got into a nasty traffic jam on the M1 due to the road works.

It’s obvious that Dewsbury is a mill town and parts of it are quite impressive and other bits do look a bit rundown, but the area I was heading to was very pleasant.

I arrived at the location my sat-nav assured me was correct and pulled into a pub car park. As I was still very early, I went in for a cup of coffee and asked for directions.

The hostelry was immaculate, with a striking beer garden and the most welcoming landlady and customers.

It is named after a famous seaside resort between Whitby and Bridlington. At the Methodist Chapel and the WI meeting, the ladies were great fun and laughed a lot.

Heading home the motorway was very clear and the only thing I found irksome was the driver of a small white van who seemed to want to ride in my boot, even though I was just under the maximum speed limit. When he veered off on a side road I saw he was swerving all over the road, at speed, and was obviously unfit to drive.

I was shocked and saddened the next day to be told that a friend of mine from Grassington had passed away after an illness.

There is little I can do to help her husband at the moment. On the next afternoon I took the dogs up to one of our favourite walks and at one pint there is a sharp left turn in the path. At this point two huge dogs arrived as my dogs did.

Boo, my black Labrador fell instantly in love with the huge black Labrador boy, and Brillo, my little tan coloured terrier, fell for the handsome Golden Retriever, and disappeared off into the distance with it, to reluctantly return when called, eventually.

It was a warm afternoon and we walked on and it was only after a few miles I realized my older dog, Fair, was very tired and hot. I shall take this as a sign not to take her so far again in future.