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11
Oct 07
Thu

The Invasion

At work, hordes of moths have invaded the foyer. Hundreds of black specks flutter under the high glass roof of the atrium and impromptu colonies blacken the walls, tightly clustered and nestled in the sandstone and granite corners. The scene in the foyer, normally a staid, prim centre of corporatism, is almost comical. Workers navigate the floor, their gait punctuated by erratic ducking and weaving, as if evading phantom punches. Some people have their camera phones out. Some people are visibly afraid. Outside my window, some fifty-something floors up, moths occasionally thud against the glass. The roads are littered with torn wings and dried moth torsos and the footpaths blotted with a million oily patches.

It’s that time of year again: the Bogong moths are on the move. They know summer’s coming and they’re migrating to the cooler climes of Snowy Mountain caves. Along the way, the nocturnal moths become distracted by the bright city lights and, thinking that the sun’s come up, descend upon Sydney by the thousands. Bogongs are univoltine, which means that they breed one generation each year (yep, I found that off Wikipedia) and therefore the migration is an annual event. Those that do get to the caves aestivate (which is the same as hibernation, but in summer).

Meanwhile, back in the foyer, building management has hired a cleaning guy and equipped him with a back-mounted vacuum cleaner fitted with a 3 metre long attachment. Each day he slowly makes his way around the foyer performing the Sisyphean task of sucking dead moths off the floors, couches, concierge desks and chasing down the live ones crawling on the walls. At least we can all be thankful that they’re not stinging insects.

  9:14pm (GMT +10.00)  •  Life  •   •  Tweet This  •  Comments (2)