Our region is completely overwhelmed by the box moth, or the pyrale du buis as it is called in French.
I know they have been around for longer, but I first became aware of them in the summer, when they seemed to make a beeline for the hair of my daughters, sunning beside the pool.
Over the past two weeks I have noticed them everywhere , fluttering round the garden, whizzing past my car screen, clinging in large numbers to my bedroom walls. I took this photo two nights ago when I had to get up get rid of a hornet buzzing round my bed, and noticed there were about six pyrale on my walls.
I don’t quite understand why I have so many on my land – I don’t think I have any box bushes. Have they started to diversify their menu? I bumped into a friend on Saturday whose partner has a magnificent old box garden, a couple of centuries old. They are struggling to suppress these moths; and my friend said that Anne, says if the boxes go, she goes – after about 50 years there. And I wonder if the box bush, so much a feature of the wild, desolate Causses landscape, will survive.
This is perhaps an even greater catastrophe than the invasion of the processional caterpillars every spring. At the same time I see fewer and fewer of our regular visitors, like the lizards. Though the scorpions are still here, particularly in my bathroom. And crickets still try to bang their way through my windows.