It begins

I did pretty well over the winter in terms of finding invertebrates to keep me motivated through the dark months, but nothing – nothing – beats the feeling of seeing the first solitary bee of the season in my garden. This is one of three Anthophora plumipes I found today – there were two in the front garden, one on a primrose and one on a barely-flowering clump of pulmonaria, and finally, in the secret garden, I discovered this little chap having his ninner on the patch of sweet violets I’ve been carefully stepping around for the last ten days.

Immediately my head lifted, my shoulders dropped, and I began smiling at the world – even at the neighbour who greeted me with a buzzing noise when he saw me bending over the pulmonaria, who under other circumstances would have received a Special Look. Tomorrow, if the weather is reasonable and my joints are up to it, I might just start (carefully) tidying the flower beds.