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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For once a title that lives up to its title!,
By A Customer
With a title like enjoying moths the author was tempting fate and the likelihood was that it would be far from accomplished as a claim. Has Roy Leverton succeeded? Most books on moths are connected with the important task of identification and this is often the antithesis of enjoyment. The real enjoyment found by most entomologists involved with this particular area -the lepidoptera - is in finding the insects. For many the light trap is the first method adopted but it is by no means he only one. Roy illustrates the problems using anecdotes, knowledge and enthusiasm with chapters on finding larvae and adults using a variety of methods. All of this is refreshingly described leaving you with the urge to get out into the field and try out what you have read. Also chapters on photographing them and rearing them gives you ideas on what to do when you find them. All the way through the book you feel that the pursuit of these hard to find by day but extremely attractive insects to be really enjoyable. To add icing to the cake the photographs are very clear and bright to wet the appetite of what is out there. The book concentrates on the macro moths but this does not lessen the application of the techniques used, as they are as applicable to macros as they are to micros. With the increased popularity of moths this book helps to fill the void in the area of the practicalities of finding lepidoptera. The last book on this subject was probably by Richard Dickson and called 'A Lepidopterist's Handbook'; first published in 1973 by the AES this book is still available but somewhat dated to say the least. Roy Leverton should be congratulated on producing a really enjoyable book that invites the reader to try their hand at several different methods of finding these fascinating insects. I can't wait to read it again!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful addition to my library,
I bought this when I started trapping moths in June 02. It was a wonderfully easy read, pitched at just the right level - stretched me a little but accessible enough to motivate me to learn more. 3 months on I am re-reading it and getting more out of it second time round. It is not an identification guide but it does have some wonderful photos. The author's love of his subject radiates from every page. One of my best buys in recent years.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoy moths most sundays,
Both myself and my friend Duncan enjoy moths almost as equally as each other, specifically on the traditional "moth day" that is Sunday. This book helps us to enjoy them even more with beautiful photography and line drawings of the moths and their families, so we can identify the species as we feel pleasure.
I especially liked the chapter on how the moths can be lured into capturing jars, with the use of pudding. The book specifically states that creamed rice pudding is the most effective. And indeed I find that it is. I have managed to conclude that the Psygomisnus Trapintoil moth is the most receptive.
There is a lot of science involved within the middle pages of this reference guide, but it was easily broken down into everyday language, so even Duncan and I could enjoy and understand it.
It is recommended for people who frequently visit the dentist and struggle to read the provided magazines and pamphlets. Every dentistry establishment should own one. Pleasure for all!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must for lepidopterists with an aesthetic approach to moth,
Roy Leverton shows all his love and enthusiasm for moths through this wonderful and informative book. It certainly got me hooked on moths and i too learned how to enjoy them ,not just to tick them off as a species , but to value moths and to love them. For me Roy Leverton has captured the very best of mothing throughout his own experiences and put them unselfishly into this book for others to read...i commend him and thank him.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Moth" Read Book,
This review is from: Enjoying Moths (Poyser) (Kindle Edition)
Roy Leverton is revered throughout the moth world and is quite righly considered a behe"moth" in his field.
Leverton manages to tease and engage the reader on each and every page, leaving no stone unturned.
However, the book does expose a certain fragility to Leverton in his quest for perfection, which some readers may find hard to relate with.
By exposing his soul on each page, Leverton allows the read to be at one with the Moth. This is no easy task for such a deeply serious, important and defining work.
To conclude, I would recommend Enjoying Moth's to anyone with a keen interest in the world around us.
Leverton's vunerablity and brutish determination are constant themes throughout that bring the reader closer to Enjoying Moths than ever before.
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable book about moths, men and Newcastle Brown Ale,
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"Enjoying moths" by Roy Leverton may the best introduction to moths and "mothing" currently on the market. Leverton is an amateur naturalist who has been fascinated by moths ever since his childhood (curiously, he grew up in a heavily industrialized and polluted city in Britain). He is also on a first name basis with Mark Young, the scientist who wrote another book published in this series, "The Natural History of Moths". This, plus a certain self-ironic attitude towards the mothing subculture, makes him an excellent choice for writing an introduction to moths.
It should be noted that "Enjoying moths" is mostly about British moths. Still, it could be interesting even for foreign readers. The book is illustrated with lage colour photographs of moths and their caterpillars, taken by the author himself. It covers all aspects of the subject: identification, collecting, where to find moths, their life cycle, moth photography, rearing moths in captivity, and the conservation of moths. Leverton also attempts to answer the perennial question "What is the difference between a butterfly and a moth?". (Not much, it turns out. Indeed, the moth on the front cover looks like a butterfly!)
The chapters on where and how to find moths are pretty detailed. For instance, we learn that blackberries, ivy bloom, honeydew, campions and sallow blossom are favourite moth haunts. Find the blackberry bush, spot the moth. Easy. We also get to know that many moths are actually diurnal, or at least partially so, and some can be found even in cities (at least British ones). Leverton also reveals a few curious tricks of the trade. Apparently, moths are drawn to a mixture of beer, treacle and brown sugar, which can be applied to tree trunks, wooden poles, and so on. The technique is known as "sugaring". Another beverage-linked way of attracting moths is "wine roping": thick ropes are soaked with a mixture of sugar and cheap red wine (Rosita?), and the ropes are then hanged on suitable places, for instance low tree branches. But, of course, the most common way of catching moths is by light traps...
The most entertaining pieces of information in the book are about the mothing subculture. There isn't a specific chapter on it, but the subject keeps popping up here and there. Leverton mentions that some people have as a sick hobby to overturn long-established scientific names by sifting through old natural history magazines. According to the principles of scientific nomenclature, the oldest name has precedence, so if you can find a long forgotten Latin name of a certain moth from the time of the Napoleonic Wars, you might create havoc in the entire system of moth classification! He also reveals that the English names of many moths aren't taken seriously by hard-boiled moth experts, since the names often sound very strange: The Uncertain, Heart and Dart, Merveille du Jour, Creamspot Tiger or The Flame. (My favourite moth name, not mentioned by the author, is Setaceous Hebrew Character. Come again?) Names like these were often given to the moths by enthusiastic collectors working the British countryside over a century ago. There also used to be unscrupulous moth dealers, who imported exotic moths, and then sold them to unsuspecting collectors, claiming the rarities had been caught on British soil. Some old lists of which moth species have been found in Britain might therefore be incorrect. During his discussion of "sugaring", Leverton writes that many moth collectors have secret recipes for how to make the sugar-beer mixture as potent as possible. Some add rum, which is said to make the moths quite literally drunk! The best beer is supposed to be Newcastle Brown Ale (which apparently doesn't make the moths tipsy.) The author also admits that he has on occasion consumed the sugaring mixture himself, when he felt really hungry after a long nights walk in the woods. Is that why he prefers Newcastle?
Finally, a few observations on what this book is not. It's not a field guide to moths, although it does mention the most conspicuous families and how to tell them apart. In fact, the book constantly emphasizes how difficult it is to identify moths. Many moths are so variable that specimens found on the same tree look like several different species. Nor is it a book for the general reader. It's not difficult to read (quite the contrary), but it's so filled with esoteric facts about moths from page one, that you have to be very interested in the subject before even picking it up. If your interest in moths is only casual, you might be bored pretty quickly.
But if you are a budding little mothman, I'm sure you will enjoy the ride!
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Enjoying Moths (Poyser) by Roy Leverton