Yesterday morning it was lovely and sunny, so Crafty Green Boyfriend and I went to Dalkeith Country Park for a walk, primarily to enjoy the bluebells. We timed it well, as not only were the bluebells almost at their best, but it started raining just after we stopped walking.
At this time of year the country park is full of wild garlic and bluebells in bloom
The woods are bright with other flowers too, including violets
and greater stitchwort (which look in these photos more similar to the wood anemones than they really are!)
The park managers have at last restricted access to part of the ancient oak woodland to allow for natural regeneration of these magnificent trees, which is a great thing, but also slightly annoying because the first we knew of this was finding ourselves at this gate
chiffchaffs, blackcaps and willow warblers singing alongside chaffinches, robins, wrens and others.
There weren't very many insects around though. We only saw a couple of speckled wood butterflies, compared to the several, we've seen on past Spring visits
There were, however, good numbers of solitary mining bees, it was interesting to watch this bee wandering around until it entered a hole
We were also delighted to find this 14 spot ladybird, the first one either of us have ever seen. What a lovely little ladybird! Crafty Green Boyfriend's thumb in the photo gives some idea of the scale of this insect.
I've had a few pieces published recently, you can read them by following the links below