The Cornish Pasty
Here is a treat for lovers of pasties everywhere - The Cornish Pasty brings you "live" pictures from a secret pasty orchard somewhere in West Cornwall .....
Frame refresh time - every 30 seconds
(speeded up here, for effect)
This webcam shows "live" pictures from a pasty orchard at a secret location in West Cornwall between the hours of 11.30 pm and 5.00 am only. At other times, we play you back the images recorded the night before. The camera is used to monitor the activities of the Black Night Hawk Moth.
The moth plays an important role in night-time pollination of the pasty flower. Sometimes, the tree is smothered by a pulsing mass of moths so that you can hardly see the bleddy tree at all. After each wonderfully synchronised burst of activity by the moths, the luminous pollen can be seen at the base of the tree and at the base of the main branches, waiting for the wind to carry it to neighbouring trees.
You can see a similar photograph of Monarch butterflies HERE.
This double method of insect AND wind pollination is unique in the the plant world but then, so too, is the pasty tree. This great mass of moths is a good sign and means that a heavy crop will probably follow.
When the moth fails to arrive on its migration from Columbia, in South America, then pollination has to be done by hand, as described in the memories from my childhood, HERE.
The pasty growers pray for good prevailing winds so that the moths do their part and the growers don't have to, because it is a very tiresome job to do by hand to pollinate proper enough to get a good crop.
Here is a super piece of video film of the Black Night Hawk Moth made by my friend, Alfred, one evening over at the farm when we was setting up the webcam. It is set to play here in a endless loop ......
The Black Night Hawk Moth
The moth that is so important to the natural pollination of the pasty tree
Actually, as you can see, it is both red and black
but in the dark, they look one and the same
Mind you, the red shows up proper on the pasty cam, don't it?
Latin name - Catagramma_pitheas
Our knowledge of the "Black Night" might be better if we had a world-wide Black Night watch system like the Americans have for their Monarch butterfly - see HERE.
In the quest for truth on this web site, I have to confess that the link for the moth's name above, Catagramma_pitheas, leads to a cigarette card collection. I cannot find any proper scientific pictures of this moth, probably because it isn't of great interest over to England. However, there are plenty of pictures of it on cigarette cards for sale on eBay!
Bleddy marvellous, isn't it! ----- Even more bleddy marvellous - that link has now disappeared, so we have found another and also HERE is another one (at bottom right) with an enlarged view HERE
I have to say, the pictures of these moths and butterflies are something else .....
Also, for seekers of the truth,
HERE is a proper scientific classification, mind you, it says there is no proper name but we Cornish hev allus called it the Black Night Hawk Moth.
(memo: this last page is archived in case it disappears)
This page about the Cornish pasty probably comes as a bit of a revelation to those lovers of fine Cornish pasties who had never seen this before .....