It does not seem long since we were commenting on the profusion of blossom on the fruit trees this year and would we have a good crop of fruit. Since then one or two days of high wind blew off a lot of pear blossom but the damson, which blossoms later, was more fortunate. The weather allowed plenty of time for the bees to fly, collecting nectar and pollinating at the same time. As a result there is plenty of fruit developing. The swallows are back, like everything else, early this year. We saw the first ones on April 17th. In good weather the insects fly high and the swallows follow them but a wet day will see birds and insects flying nearer the ground. Nests constructed with lumps of clay stuck together with saliva have appeared in the usual places. Soon there will be a little row of heads, beaks open, along the edge, each time a parent bird flies in with food. As the birds can have two to three broods a year and lay four to five eggs each time we can expect to see a large number when they congregate to migrate south in the autumn. The Little Owl has been seen several times, having taken posession of the nest box designed to attract a barn owl. The little owl only has one brood a year but there are several on the farm so they must be finding a good supply of food. I cannot leave the nature section without mentioning the roe deer, seen not infrequently by early morning dog walkers, family members and visitors but, sadly, not myself.
The Book Festival, organised by The Bookhttp://www.thebookcase.co.ukcase at Lowdham, is now in full swing. Celebrating their twentieth year of Festival organisation there are activities to attend throughout June. Events take place in several different venues. The varied programme contains talks, book readings, a cookery demonstration, music and well-known authors to meet. All ages and tastes are catered for. The Festival culminates in an All Day Bookfair and Cafe in the Village Hall. June, of course, is also the time when Epperstone holds the Garden Festival. Taking place on Sunday, June 16th this year there will be gardens to visit, a plant stall, stalls including Granny’s Attic, Grandpa’s Shed, children’s activities, Vintage motorbikes and more, and, of course, TEAS.