I put the details of my 'open afternoon' on the website a few days ago. I have had several people from far and wide say that they are coming so I decided to extend the hours. The time is now 1pm - 4pm, rather than 1pm - 3pm. I hope it is a nice day. My wildlife garden is taking shape, we put the new pond in last weekend (well my lovely husband did) and I planted it up afterwards. The plants will take time to grow but it is certainly coming along. I have planted some nettles in a large flowerpot, it would be great to attract some butterflies but I don't want a garden full of nettles. I still haven't seen a single Small Tortoiseshell but there are plenty of Peacock butterflies around. They could be the ones that I reared and released last year?
Next Thursday I will be without power for the day. The electricity board need to carry out essential maintenance work. Some of you may remember that this was supposed to happen in February when I was away. It caused absolute panic, I had to set up a generator and organise someone to re-set all my timers etc. Then without explanation they didn't switch it off! I was very relieved, a day without heating at the coldest time of winter could have killed off my entire collection! This time it is a damn nuisance but I will just have to work around it. I will have no computer, no lights in the bug house and therefore I won't be able to post out orders that day. This is a real pain because the following Monday is yet another bank holiday. I am very busy this weekend so it looks like I will be posting on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, rather than the usual Monday and Thursday.
The bugs are all going great. I have had a population explosion of stick insects, especially the Giant Thorny stick insects. They have bred so well that I have had to set up another cage this week. I have lots of tiny Leaf insects hatching, they run around like ants. Leaf insects are just so amazing and this species seem much easier than most. I will wait until they have grown a little and then put them on my website for sale. All the spiders seem fine, I put a Chile Rose and my beautiful male Chile Beauty together. I'm not sure if they mated but he lived to tell the tale and is now back in his box. He is so pretty, it's such a shame when I don't have any females to match up with a mature male. They may not live long but generally the males are strikingly attractive.
I must just mention the bird box that I gave my husband for his 'significant' birthday in March. The box has a camera and he linked it up to my computer. Well, the excitement this week! There are Blue Tits nesting in it and they have now laid 3 eggs. I am absolutely obsessed (I know it was supposed to be his present). The adult birds go in and out at long intervals, I was worried yesterday that they had abandoned the eggs but mummy was back sitting on them at nightfall. We had a thunder storm in the night and it poured with rain. I woke up thinking about the birds but they are fine, still three eggs and mum is popping in and out now as I type. I can see them directly outside my office window and then by clicking on the screen, it's brilliant - yes I love it! My hubby has been working long hours this week so he hasn't even seen them yet but I'm sure he will take a peek or two at the weekend. The eggs may have hatched by my open afternoon? You are all welcome to have a look (I may need to clear up my office).