Early June began with the wonderful theme of May. Much sunshine, warmth, and physical exhaustion with a combination of continued manual haymaking, and trying to keep the garden ship shape. Manual watering adds to the burden, but having our own spring water supply, means we always have to be frugal in our water use after such a prolonged dry spell.
Suddenly in the first couple of days of June there was an explosion in insect numbers within the garden.Hundreds of bumblebees, and probably hundreds of immigrant Silver Y moths as well… and even some sluggish honeybees and hoverflies all brought the garden alive. It was the most exciting time to be out in the garden with so much to see, and so much activity after the prolonged absence of much insect life this year.
The Shepherd’s hut construction continued with a really successful single day, when the roped down roof sheets came off and with William’s help, the purlins and ribs were cut to fit, the barrel shaped ceiling sheets of ply were bent into shape, roof insulation added and the corrugated sheets finally fixed permanently. Still much finishing off to do, but at least the structure is now more secure and weather proof.
The morning of June 4th saw an extraordinary swarming event of Garden Chafer beetles in the upper hay meadow, when hundreds of beetles rose in waves as the sun warmed the scene at 8.00 am. Like something out of a David Attenborough natural history film, within minutes there was a feeding frenzy with many garden birds picking the bumbling beetles from the low grass.
By June 9 th the orchid count in the upper hay meadow had passed 40, which continues the meteoric rise in numbers over the years we’ve been managing this field for biodiversity ( 1,1,4,14…40 +)