On warm still evenings as dusk approaches, I like nothing better than to take a cuppa out into the garden, settle down in a comfy chair and await the flypast of the bats. To keep me company as I wait, a few birds call to say goodnight before bedtime and I notice that the fragrances of evening become more noticeable than those of the day, the flowers of nearby honeysuckle and white campion are surprisingly sweet. I had thought they would be a magnet for moths which in turn would have attracted the bats, but it’s the red valerian which is covered in dozens of particularly fast flying moths, difficult to identify as their wings are just a blur as they speed from flower to flower.
I'm pleased the hedgehog is slower, I have a good view and lovely to see him as he ambles past the compost bins, although he can get some speed up if startled.
Along with the honey, bumble, mining, masonry and all the other little solitary bees visiting my garden my wild visitors reassure me that despite such devastating losses, our wildlife continues to suffer, all is not yet lost.
As the seasons change so do the creatures visiting, at the moment my garden is absolutely alive with bees of all kinds and as a reward for my amateur attempts to identify them I was thrilled recently to see and get a photo of a male long horned bee foraging among the catmint.
Now found only in a few locations and rarely inland, for this rare species to visit my garden is a privilege and confirmation of my belief that if I provide nature with a safe, pesticide free place of refuge it will come.
It's wonderful to see such a rare bee but I do hope that he makes himself scarce before the bats come out!