Posted by: Ross Gardner | May 4, 2015

Gardening day

I regard myself as being most fortunate to have the garden that I do.  It is not what most people would regard as anything remarkable, but to have a small area of peaceful sanctuary exclusively as ones own is a privilege that many are unable to enjoy.  It is the place to be when I’m reluctant to join the other drizzle-weary folk, eager to make the most of a fine, fine day, but to spend it all indoors would be a travesty.  In any case, a gardening day was long overdue.

From the naturalist’s perspective this is no great compromise.  The pond has for several weeks been a focal point of growing activity, with its healthy population of Smooth Newt and burgeoning numbers of Great Pond Snail and Pond Skater.  Today though, was momentous with the first emergence the Large Red Damselfly.  A Water-measurer was an added bonus, but I wonder how often I’ve over-looked these delicate dwellers of the surface film.

Water-measurer (Hydrometra stagnorum) - delicate dwellers of the surface film.  Ross Gardner 2013

Water-measurer (Hydrometra stagnorum) – delicate dwellers of the surface film. Ross Gardner 2013

The spring’s gathering momentum was in no way restricted to the limits of the pond.  A male Orange Tip flutters across, on the face of it with no other purpose than to embellish the day, something that of course could not be further from the truth.  A female Flower Bee (Anthophora plumipes) threads her way among the spikes of pond-side Bugle with bulging pollen baskets.

The incumbent pair of Robin were predictably interested in our disturbance of the soil, while the House Sparrow foraging for aphids in the birch were quite indifferent to our doings.  And the Swifts are back!  Their shrill calls, high over the garden seem so long in returning, with the first sight of scimitar-wings slicing the sky so much more keenly welcomed for it.

Sat down at the end of the afternoon congratulating ourselves on our efforts and the garden soon forgets we are there.  The Blue Tit pair flit through the birch and in and out of their box; a female Blackbird joins the Robin in scouring the aftermath of our labours; the sparrows, Woodpigeon and Greenfinch all continue doing their thing.  Indeed, how lucky I am.

Robin (Erithacus rubiculus). Copyright 2009 Ross Gardner

Robin (Erithacus rubiculus). Copyright 2009 Ross Gardner

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Responses

  1. Is it me or is that water measure one of the rare long winged forms?

  2. You might be right. I hadn’t thought to look – needed a more expert eye!


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