Five Minutes in the Garden

Dear Readers, it’s been one of those days when what I’ve mostly done is compare and contrast two spreadsheets and try to bring them together as one coherent whole, so what a pleasure it was to get up, stretch my legs and see what was going on in the garden. There are still a few damselflies about, I rather like that this one has a bar-code on her tail. This one is a Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) and I know that it’s female because you can just about see a yellow band between some of the segments on the abdomen. She’s probably thinking about laying her eggs somewhere in the pond if she hasn’t done so already.

This plant has just popped up (as they do), and it’s a willowherb, probably Hoary Willowherb (Epibilium parviflorum),  a common willowherb of damp places. It’s so delicate that it’s hard to imagine how it held its own amidst the more vigorous plants, but here it is.

And over in the bittersweet there’s a bumblebee with bright orange pollen baskets on her legs. She looks as if she’s wearing a pair of tangerine-coloured bloomers.

This bee is carrying grey pollen, and interestingly you can tell what plant a bee has been foraging on by the pollen colour. Grey pollen can come from hazel or elder (probably elder at this time of year), and orange can come from lime – there are masses of lime trees in flower at the moment.

And having mentioned that I hadn’t seen any chaffinches for a while, a young one popped up on the seed feeder.

And finally, look who turned up on the guttering this morning while I was half-way through (yet another) Zoom call! The garden has been full of sparrows all week, and some were even belatedly examining my sparrow nesting boxes. Let’s hope they remember them next year.

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