June began with the garden and fields desperate for a little more rain, and fortunately this arrived with modest showery rain on the first few days. Bumblebee activity continued to be extraordinary early in the month, and it was fascinating to see how poor a correlation there is between the numbers of bumbles, and numbers of honeybees in the garden on particular days – cooler, windy and showery weather definitely kept the (now) four honeybee colonies largely restricted to their hives.
The upper hay meadow is becoming more floriferous each year, and by early June many of the hybrid orchids are beginning to flower, but it’s as the month progresses that the real splendour of a developing wildflower hay meadow begins to entrance me, with its random impressionistic power.
As June progressed, all concerns about water disappeared as the weather changed to nearly 3 weeks with only 1 dry day. And it wasn’t until June 19th that we could cut any more hay, although in between we’d still had some lovely light at times.
It was a thrill to find a Small Pearl-bordered fritillary, Boloria selene, butterfly for the first time ever at Gelli Uchaf, nectaring on wildflowers in our upper hay meadow.On a really gloomy grey morning on June 17th I witnessed an extraordinary gathering of House martins and swallows, circling the shepherd’s hut, in a feeding frenzy which lasted for well over an hour.
Rainfall total for the month was 158.8 mm, so no repeat, as yet, of last year’s extended summer drought. PV inverter records for the month, of 402 KWH, were also fairly average, and a little disappointing for summer’s first month, though the display shows a typical mix of a few sunny days followed by some quite gloomy ones.