The bee spread its wings and managed to take off from the hot flagstones… rising a mere inch before landing again. I watched him try and fail to achieve lift off several times over the next few minutes. He obviously had a problem.
“You’re braver than me,” said my son, as I let the bee crawl onto my hand and carried him over to the loosestrife, which, being full of flowers, nectar and dew would give him a safe place to rest, feed and recover.
The colourful, hairy caterpillar was doing its best and moving at a fair rate. It was obviously none too happy in the blast of direct sunlight… you could imagine that its tiny feet were speeding across the window because they were uncomfortably hot. It can have had no idea that the patio doors would take it so far from safety, food and shelter when it set out on its journey… the glass would simply be too vast for it to see.
Setting down the coffee cup, I picked up a fallen leaf, allowed the little vapourer moth caterpillar to climb aboard before transporting it to the armeria flowers… we had seen him there before on several occasions and knew he would be safe.
While I was there, I noticed a beautifully marked moth…quite a big one. Checking my phone, I found that he was a Jersey Tiger moth… a rarity in these parts and about to become even rarer, until I moved the tangle of discarded spider silk from around his wings. A few minutes later, he fluttered over to the windowsill, allowing us a glimpse of his vivid carmine under-wings… and then we saw that he was not alone, but had flown in with a friend.
As I was reading up on him, Nick pointed out the dragonflies over his pond… big, yellow and brown striped ones. For an urban garden, he does get a lot of wildlife. Although, the final ‘rescue’ of the morning had left the garden behind, made his way indoors… and was nearly mistaken for a stray leaf and stepped upon. Bees, moths and caterpillars are one thing. Frogs are less easy to catch when they need moving… especially when they are trying to dive beneath the heavy couch… He did seem awfully dry, though, and obviously happier within the damp shade at the pond’s edge.
As I ferried the frog to the pond, the fish gathered for breakfast. There are thirty-six of them, of several different species, ranging from adolescent koi to three foot long sturgeon. We know them all by name and character, and check on each of them daily. They know us too… and know just how to convince us they haven’t been fed in weeks… even when they have been fed half an hour earlier. The sturgeon’s tail can soak an unresponsive human with one swipe at the water. “At least,” said my son, “you always make my days interesting…” Which, being in the nature of a compliment, meant that it was, on the whole, and in spite of the soaking, a fairly successful morning.