One of the things I treasure most about the allotment site is its unceasing propensity for marvels of nature on land that is situated so close to our urban landscape.
On my arrival the other day I was struck by how much the grass had grown after a couple of days of rain followed by sunshine. Three poorly attended plots had become a strip of lush meadow and a bed next to my plot is now filled with tall grasses, forget-me-nots and buttercups.
It was here that I saw what I have identified as being a female Black-tailed Skimmer Dragonfly. Contrary to its name, it was a magnificently striking, golden colour with dark brown markings.
At the moment I am enjoying harvesting and eating my asparagus whilst waiting for a late crop of broad beans to come to fruition. The thin spears are female asparagus plants, since they also use up energy producing seed, and the thicker ones are male. Elsewhere on the plot, the potato plants are doing well and I have put in several rows of cabbage seedlings, alongside sprouts and purple sprouting broccoli.
There is a lot of work to be done in keeping down the weeds, but the beds are now all topped up with compost and my windowsill at home is brimming with seedlings at varying stages of maturity waiting to plant out. A couple of rows of peas have managed to keep going despite being partially eaten by slugs and I have netted the currant bushes to prevent birds taking the fruit as it ripens.