Spring, so full of expectations. To be alive in spring is to be whirled up into spirals of hope; of unfolding leaves, pending buds, and new beginnings.
While waiting for an emerging prospect of my own to unfurl, I have started a new writing project. Busy with that, there is less time to write blog posts, but I don’t want to miss nature’s premier performance, so I slip outside to check on her progress.
Well camouflaged in a bush of tiny, shiny new leaves, a speckled song thrush sits resolute on her nest, ‘thinking invisible’. I know she nestles five exquisite blue eggs because I noticed them a few days ago.
Nearby, her mate shuffles impatiently along a low tree branch, a cache of worms dangling from his mouth. I’m holding up lunch and she must be hungry, so I tiptoe quickly away.
On the veranda, bees forage in a tub of pansies – small native bees but we have bumble bees, too, European stowaways on early settler’s ships – and I grab my camera.
That is not the bee’s tongue that you see, but the hard sheath protecting a long, red furry tongue that unfurls, stretching to 12mm long in the UK species Bombus hortorum. The furry end soaks up the nectar. How do I know that? – Because I discovered this fascinating website > http://www.bumblebee.org where you can learn far more. But now, I must get back to work. Bottoms up!