It's surprising what you can find out even when you're not looking for it. For instance today we were (like another pair of French seekers, plus another guy from Cavaillon) looking for the grave of Johnny Hallyday's mother – when we were surrounded by 'butterflies' (although I thought they may be daytime moths) and this obliging little creature posed for me for quite some time. OK, you do the Google, and discover that this is the pyrale du buis, or box tree moth, whose caterpillar was introduced into Europe from Asia by accident in the first decade of this century, and is causing such havoc among boxwood trees that it is considered a pest. Shame really, as my partner Penny thought they'd come out to celebrate Johnny's 75th birthday (last Friday). Obviously some people must hate them, but surely they're nothing like the pest that is the human race?
And this is another example of the moth, seen in thousands just a few hundred kilometers north of Viviers in Savigny-lès-Beaune (21). Our car roof was covered in the creatures, some of which had died or were dying in the morning dew.