After a long wait for the arrival of spring I find an added of a sense of wonder at the blossom on the trees and proliferation brought with a rise in temperatures and brighter days.
I had doubted whether the broad beans, planted in early February, would make an appearance at this stage but their fresh, green leaves finally emerged from the soil nearly a couple of weeks ago.
There is still a threat of frost at night and the ground is waterlogged just below the surface so almost all of the potatoes are planted in my deepest raised bed. In another bed I have sown a couple of rows of beetroot and carrots alongside the garlic, onions and shallots, which are already doing well.
As I went about my work a fledgling robin, still with some downy feathers visible beneath its wing, took an opportunity to pick up worms and I enjoyed the scent of about half a dozen hyacinths in full bloom.
It was the gentle buzz of life on the plot from an array of smaller creatures that I missed during last year’s cool summer, so the other day my attention was easily drawn to a curious looking insect I have not seen before. At first glance I took it to be a bee but it had a long spike on the front of its head.
This small insect turns out to be a furry fly that mimics the behaviour of bees and is dubbed ‘beemosquito’, since it looks like a cross between a bee and a mosquito, but it has the more splendid proper name of ‘Bombylius major’. Its spike is a proboscis, used to suck nectar from flowers, as these flies do not sting or bite and are apparently becoming more common around the UK.