After a long, hot weekend spent mostly in the garden, here's a short list of the minor natural delights that I noticed as I went about my work:

  • Some sort of wood boring wasps coming in and out of holes in a tree stump, often just sitting with their heads poking out.
  • A team of small black ants struggling to pull a large, nearly dead fly off to their nest. At least I assume that's what they were doing rather than just trying to keep my paths clear.
  • A Red kite directly overhead being bothered by a Rook. I've not seen one from the garden before.
  • Damselflies in a number of different liveries, flitting about the bushes. And we don't even have a pond. Yet.
  • A small blue butterfly (a Holly blue perhaps) notable amongst the cavalcade of larger, commoner species.
  • A number of ladybirds on the wing.
  • Lots of shield bugs, very noisily buzzing through the air and often bouncing of me.
  • A Zebra spider that walked all the way across the table to where I was sitting then very deliberately looked up at me. It jumped on my finger when I put it near. These are my favourite spiders as they're so characterful and will play with you.
  • Lots of centipedes, millipedes and grubs in the soil that I was digging. Apparently a sign of poor soil, but it makes the digging more interesting.
  • A wolf spider running through the grass carrying its egg sac beneath its abdomen like a little blue-white pearl.
  • A solitary bee (as in not a hive-dwelling species) arriving on my newly dug soil and burrowing.

It's amazing what's there to be seen if you're there to see it. If you take a second to observe small animals going about their business and wonder what they're up to it can be very rewarding.

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