It feels as though, this week, we have been transported to high summer in a far-off Mediterranean land, with bright cloudless blue skies, and glaring sun. From recent rainy days, and cold damp days, the change seemed to happen almost overnight. Garden flowers are bursting into bloom, dragonflies and damselflies are emerging from ponds and rivers, and it seems as though bees are buzzing in every flower.
A number of Red Mason Bees have taken up residence this year in a bee/insect box I installed a few years ago in a sun baked corner of the garden. The box is filled with hollow tubes into which the bees are happily and busily laying a sequence of eggs then blocking the end with a 'home-made cork' of chewed wood pulp.
In the last few weeks another wildlife neighbour that has taken up residence nearby is the Swallows. A pair of these delightful birds nested in our neighbours' open-raftered barn-like car ports last year, and it seems the family have returned again and can frequently be seen whizzing through the gardens into the rafters where they sit and chatter and chirp as if excited to be back and house hunting.
The local House Sparrows have hatched at least one brood, and judging by the noise, a pair appears to have taken over the old house-martins nest in the eaves of the house next-door.
A Great-spotted Woodpecker has been a regular visitor recently, as has a Nuthatch, whilst Blue Tits dash around the neighbourhood hunting down every aphid and insect they can find. I am sure they all are feeding hungry growing families. For many of us Humans though, this weekend will mean some the years first days of deckchairs and BBQ's, ice-creams, tourist traffic jams, fêtes and festivals and enjoying all things 'Summer'.