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Rainwater harvesting, love is in the pond, Slinky Malinky mark 2, blackbird bath and count the ladybirds

Date posted: Wednesday 18th March 2020

Rainwater harvesting, love is in the pond, Slinky Malinky mark 2, blackbird bath and count the ladybirds

This dreadful and alarming covid-19 pandemic is taking up all the headlines; almost everyone is sensibly abiding by health experts’ guidelines and advice, but going up to our plots is something many of us are hoping we can continue to do. Out in the fresh air, keeping 2 metres distance from our fellow plotholders and rigorous hand washing regimes are now the order of the day. It looks likely that we’ll have to cancel our social events for the near future, but we did go ahead with our Seed Sunday, with the additional bonus of a talk and demo by our rainwater-harvesting guru, Ben Wilkins. A master class in all things water and solar power technology – amazing what can be done on one plot to store and pump water and reduce the need to use our elderly hand pumps on site. The demo on plot 101 was summed up admirably by our Secretary, David: “Ben’s talk was hugely popular and a fascinating event. I had no idea there were so many hidden underground workings on the other side of the allotment and so much mysterious technology, not to mention the 8 water storage cylinders. How I get by with a watering can and a few visits to the pump I now do not know, though I guess that it is relevant that I do not ever aspire to a prize winning plot or wiring diagrams in a lighted shed! But Ben’s talk was nicely judged and humorous and he marshalled the large audience around his plot with good ringmaster expertise.”

My pond seems to have become the ‘First Dates’ location for a couple of large snails, copulating elegantly and extremely slowly a few days ago. The gelatinous clump of frogspawn is now feeding the emergent tadpoles, creating a dark, writhing mass over the surface of the water.

This predatory hunter was doing the rounds; completely impervious to enticing calls and obviously on a singular mission around the site.

Hopefully she/he won’t catch any of our blackbirds who have taken up residence – this one enjoying a quick bath in one of the puddles left from the downpours of the past few weeks.

And as it’s become mild and more spring-like over the last few days the honey bees, bee flies and ladybirds are emerging; four on my sage bush yesterday!