Nature Observations Part 3 By Alice Coates

While much of human activity has been put on hold and the pace of the world has been forced to slow down, the natural world has continued in it’s race of rapid re-growth and its fast development of so many new, young and healthy lives.

With the glorious spring season richly advancing, life all around has reached its bountiful peak and is bursting with the late spring times youthful abundance.

During the long daylight hours of continuous heat and sunshine, wildlife in the garden still abounds.

The welcome arrival of our spectacular summer visitors of Swifts and Swallows is met by their atmospheric screeching and cheerful chattering above, whilst in their acrobatic flight of complex twists and turns they feed frantically on insects high up in the sky-eagerly restoring their energy after their long and exhausting journeys across the continent.
Joining in with the sweet chorus is the constant noisy presence of newly fledged baby birds, as they hop and flutter between branches practising their foraging skills while they eagerly demand to be fed by their hard-working parents.

As many of the earlier spring blossoms start to go over and the dazzling, green freshness of the leaves turn to a darker, richer hew, new and luxurious shades, forms and aromas gradually take their place, overwhelming the senses.
Wisteria, with its long, lilac tressals of sweet, creamy-scented pea flowers hang elaborately over a showy Cistus in bloom with its bright cerise, crumpled petals; Foxgloves stand magesticaly with their tall, regal spikes of soft, pink, tubular flowers; While a beautiful wild Dog Rose cascades its elegant boughs of delicate, mildly scented pale pink blossoms over rich, deeply perfumed sprays of the ornate pale yellow and cream flowers of Honeysuckle, all offering a plentiful supply of nectar and pollen to the emerging hungry insects of both night and day.

As the sun begins to set across the western sky and the warm temperatures of daytime start to cool, the busy and noisy activities of the birds slowly fall into silence and stillness, apart from a lone, distant Song Thrush who throws out his heart-warming song amid the calm and approaching darkness.
With the evening comes more enchanting and enriching encounters of the mysterious nocturnal creatures emerging from their daytime slumber to enjoy the seasonal riches and delights of the night.
As the heady scent of Jasmine and sweet Honeysuckle fill the balmy night air with overpowering and aromatic fragrances,
big, beautiful May Bugs make their endearing presence known by buzzing loudly as they clumsily fly through the moon-lit sky, crashing noisily into hedgerows and shrubs to feed on green, succulent leaves.
While deep in the undergrowth several grunts and rustles are heard, followed by the sound of whistling noses, before a couple of lovable Hedgehogs appear from behind a compost

heap, where they have been safely nestled away during the day, now readily snuffling to feast on insects and grubs.
Suddenly, two fast-moving shadows appear briefly overhead, when a pair of graceful little Bats swoop and flutter whilst they make their high-pitched clicks as they feed on moths and midges attracted by the bright moonlight before they quickly disappear again over a dense Brambly hedge.

All these joyful encounters of the rich and diverse pleasures of nature cannot help but enrich and uplift the heart, mind and soul! A generous gift so unique and irreplaceable that the natural world gives us, makes one glad to be living in such a magical world of wonder!