All it takes is a little bit of sunshine and splashes of colour return to the garden.
After all the rain the plants are ready for the big opening. There is not much pollen on the willow yet, these stamens were the only ones I saw and they were high up, but it won’t be long.
I saw my first blossom on the big plum tree in the garden. In warm years so many bees come to the plum tree when it is in flower that I can hear the buzz from about 100 metres away.
The red Camellia provides more than colour.
The thick layer of petals has been providing a comfortable B&B for this little halictes bee.
The dandelions are out and this one is being shared by a honey bee and a solitary Andrena bee. I look forward to the return of the bees and butterflies in the garden.
One returning visitor came as a surprise. My husband spotted him at the end of February and he is still with us.
He is a Barbastelle bat (Barbastella barbastellus). Barbastelle bats often pass the winter in underground caves or cavities. As he has decided to take up residence behind our living room shutter again I would presume he is starting to get active. Once again I presume that if I have been seeing butterflies during the day he will be finding moths (to which he is partial) during the night. I can keep an eye on him during the day by looking in sideways without disturbing him and I have noticed that he changes position between roosting on the wooden shutter and the stone wall of the house.
This means that it is the third year that we have noticed a Barbastelle bat in exactly the same place (see last year “A furry visitor”). They have been known to live for 23 years so it seems likely that it is the same individual.
The warm damp weather is ideal for the green tree frogs ( Hyla meridionalis). They have returned to bask in the sunshine in front of the dining room window. Often we hear them before we see them and they are difficult to see until one of them moves, as you can see on the picture above.
This is my favourite time of year in the garden as everything makes its first appearance.