Apple blossom

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Firstly, may I thank everyone who left good wishes for R and me yesterday – we were very touched by your kindness! I’ll try to answer you all personally tomorrow.

This morning I was feeling possibly just a tiny bit fragile after yesterday’s jollification, but I couldn’t loll about because I had a dental hygiene appointment in Stratford – from which I emerged with a sugar-free lollipop and a smiley-face sticker, I’m proud to say. After an efficient round of errands and a truly awful journey home (anyone local would be well-advised to avoid Bidford for the next couple of days, unless they’re going to the Vintage Steam Fair), I took the macro lens out for some fresh air and exercise. I also found myself chatting to people I’ve never done more than exchange “Good morning” with before today – maybe with my head buried in a buttercup and my backside in the air I look more friendly than when I’m the usual way up.

A couple of hundred years ago much of this village was laid to orchard, but these days there are only a few areas left, including the one from which this apple tree was sprawling helpfully over a fence and out across the verge. I was already photographing it with a mind to Flower Friday, when I realised that it was being visited by a bee which has since been identified for me as Andrena haemorrhoa, the Orange-tailed mining bee. If you look full-screen you’ll be able to see how much pollen she has collected; she will take this back to her nest, clean it from her legs and leave it with the eggs she lays, to feed the larvae when they hatch.