I was just outside again last night, too tired to look for Comet Jacques but wanting to take in the starry view for a few minutes, at least as well as I could amid street and house lights.
Not long after I started looking up at the milky way, I suudenly felt something soft brush the tip of my ear, accompanied simulataneously by a loud fluttering sound in the left ear.
My eyes shot down as if attached to a falling piano, and I caught a glimpse of a large fluttering insect heading away towards the buddleias and the back of the house.
It seemed to be a moth, and the largest moth I'd ever seen at that.
It had a long hawkmoth type body, maybe 4-5 cm long, and large fluttering wings. That was all the view I had, a brief indistinct look made all the more tantalising by the fact it was almost certainly something I'd never seen before.
I dismissed the thought it might be a bat. No bat and its cunning echo location would ever be so clumsy to collide with a great lump like me. By size, I'd have thought it was a privet hawk moth, but it is very late in the year for them.
Could it have been a death's head hawk moth? I wonder. All I know, is that something very large and mothy brushed past my face, on a starry night in August.