In the first week of June, the last of the far-north migratory birds were still passing through. By the end of the month some local nesters were ushering fledglings out into the world.
In the meantime a wide variety of flowering plants made up for a chilly spring by growing inches a day – aided by lots of sunshine and frequent rains.
But bees of all sorts have been noticeably, worryingly scarce this year. I was glad to see this bumblebee shake off the water and resume flying after a drenching shower.
Some of the beautiful insects I first mistook for solitary bee species turned out to be flies of the hover fly family (aka “flower flies”, aka “Syrphid flies”). They make their way from flower to flower harvesting pollen, so they are important pollinators.
Daisy fleabane is one of the first meadow flowers in our yard each spring, and the hover flies are busy.
A spread of white daisies also beckons pollinators to unmown areas of the yard.
Virginia spiderwort blossoms, each only the size of a twenty-five cent piece, look a deep blue in shade and purple-lavender in full sun.
Though I spotted what appeared to be a single small grey bumblebee visiting the spiderwort, it didn’t stick around for a photo. There was a much smaller creature grasping the spiderwort’s yellow anther – not a bee as I first thought, but likely a hover fly known as the Eastern Calligrapher.
Meanwhile, overhead, the Baltimore Orioles have filled the air with chatter and song – especially as the fledglings were coaxed out of the nest.
Perhaps the most ancient beginning-of-summer ritual, in these parts, is the march of turtles to lay their eggs. This Painted Turtle came out of the marsh and made her way across the lawn to the sand. She dug a hole for a nest just a few meters away from last year’s chosen spot, she deposited her eggs, she carefully covered them, and she tamped down the sand. We looked away for a moment, and she was gone.