A sole patch of dyer's green-weed has come into being almost overnight. I've been looking out for it..
Roses bud and bloom. Thistles are budding. Brambles are green, budding but with few flowers. I'm hoping for butterflies, searching for them. A few common blues, small heath, dingy skipper. Walk through tall and seeding grasses and small moths rise but where are the butterflies?
Even when flowers appear their pollen tubes have to be receptive to pollinators, they have to grow and if it's too cold they may be late, or damaged. And flowers release their pollen at a certain temperature, A report from the bee-keepers of Buckfast Abbey tells of colonies of bees which needed to be fed during spring. Some were lost because bee-keepers didn't respond quickly enough.
March 2021 was good for bees, the colonies strong. April was exceptionally cold and dry. May saw welcome rain, but the rain scarcely stopped and bees could not forage. The natural rhythms of the season were disrupted by the weather. The programme focuses on the impact on honey bees and bumble bees. Wild bees and solitary bees have to fend for themselves.
Out on Scout Scar it's the dearth of butterflies that is most apparent. The morning is cloudy with intervals of clear blue sky but I'm still searching.
There are repercussions. An absence of butterflies means an absence of caterpillars, an important food-source for young birds.