If I had known then what I know now I would have started this diary years ago.
Whilst I have always had an interest in nature, a combination of the 2020 pandemic lockdown and my drawing practice has focused my attention like never before.
Every day I learn something new: I learn so much but I also learn that there is so much to learn. Sometimes it feels overwhelming especially when I realise the mistakes I have made in the past. That's probably why I have avoided this process but as I wander to the studio and watch through the windows I need to share some of this.
Today I was asked to identify a bee on Facebook, not an unusual occurrence and I am by no means an expert but I've practised a lot and was fairly confident. It had a red bottom so I thought "that's easy - it's either a RedTailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) or the Cuckoo, but it's too early for the Cuckoo".
Later as I looked out the studio window I noticed an unusual bee pollinating the blueberries. It had a red bottom but also a yellow stripe across it's shoulders. A male red tail? that didn't feel right. So 10 minutes of chasing it around the plant and the identification chart out again to decide with excitement that I have an Early BumbleBee in my garden (Bombus pratorum). I did have a brief moment of extra excitement when I thought it could be the Bilberry bumblebee (Bombus monticola) (it was on the Blueberry after all) but you just don't get them down here in the SouthEast.
Click on the image to learn more from the BumbleBee Conservation Trust
It's likely these bees have been in my garden before but I just hadn't realised.
I'm often asked how I know so much and I am conscious that there are plenty who know more but I have realised that I can just notice what I notice, ask an expert and learn slowly. I don't have to be perfect, I just have to try.
I use social media, books, internet searches and friends/family to expand my knowledge. I hope you enjoy what I am sharing. - feel free to comment or get in touch
If I had known then what I know now
I would have started this diary years ago
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