We are entering our fourth summer season on our land and it is fascinating to see how a balance is starting to form with all the plants, fungi, microorganisms and animals working together. The first couple of years we had thousands and thousands of slugs but now our newt and frog population has grown so much, the slugs are much less in numbers.
We feed our wild birds all year around and this year we have had nesting blue-tits, wrens, robins, swallows, starlings and sparrows that we know of so far. Our garden is full of birds feasting on insects.
In the pond living is always on the edge, and we felt a bit sorry for the water beetle that fell prey to a gigantic dragonfly nymph last week. The nymph sucked the entire beetle out of its shell, alien style. It was difficult to catch on camera but you can get an idea from these photos. We are not experts but think the nymph might become an Emperor dragonfly.
We saw the first large red damselflies a couple of days ago, flying around the pond, mating and landing on the water plants to lay eggs. It was exciting as we have not had any damselflies or dragonflies other years. The nymphs live in the water for several years before maturing into flying insects.
We are in for a huge crop of raspberries this year and the buzz from all the bumble bees around the canes are quite something to listen to. We also have a lot of hover flies in the garden.
While harvesting some mint for smoothies we came across a beautiful frog. He got a bit scared and sat completely still, hoping his camouflage would protect him. We took some lovely pictures before gently folding the grass and mint back around his hiding place.
All over the garden flowers are in full bloom and we can already see lots of fruit on our berry bushes and trees. The weather has been beautiful in May and it seems to continue for the foreseeable future. Our circle has really greened up and everything has at least doubled in size since last month.
This beautiful peacock butterfly must have overwintered in our garden; we saw it sunning itself last week, looking slightly worse for wear. We spend a lot of time in the garden at the moment, weeding, planting and mulching. But to tell you the truth there is no place we would rather be.