When the trees start to hum

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We have three large, elderly lime trees that form the backbone of our woodland. In the last few days they have changed colour from, well, green, to a rather splendid livery of variegated buttermilk and green.

And they have started to hum. A gentle, therapeutic hum, not too loud, but a hum nonetheless that finally stops when dusk beckons. And starts again a few hours later when dawn returns.

For the limes have started to flower, and I’ve never seen them flower quite so much. Every twig has a cluster of fluffy, rather modest flowers; so many of them, though, that the trees have changed colour. Last year, we had some storms in May that lashed the lime trees and damaged their flowering clusters. This year, perhaps having benefitted from that rest, the limes are making up for it!

A honey scent fills the air and this has attracted, from miles around, bumble and honey bees, hoverflies, wasps, as well other insects – millions of them, humming in harmony. Bees have had a struggle this past year, so hopefully we’re doing our bit to help restore the numbers.

This year is turning out to be quite a good insect year here – many butterflies are appearing in the garden and enjoying the range of flowers and grasses. August is traditionally our best butterfly month, so I’m looking forward to seeing what else appears in the next few weeks!

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