We've been stuck in dank, dreary cloud for days here, while everybody else has had sun. It's cold and so damp that the car struggles to start.
But this morning the mist has lifted, or been blown away, and spring is back. Walking through the garden it's great to see how many insects there are about already.
But no sign of ladybirds, yet. That doesn't seem to be the case in Hull, where entomologist Africa Gomez blogs about her garden at BugBlog. I really like Africa's blog because I usually learn something from her posts.
Her thoughts on early pollinators are interesting. I think that maybe most of us gardeners are a bit too limited in our idea of what pollinators are - we think of bees, but not much else.
In Africa's garden ladybirds and flies are busy now feeding at spurge flowers. This is one of her excellent pictures.
I think most people tend to categorise garden invertebrates as 'good bugs' or 'bad bugs' and the 'good' list is usually a pretty short one. Flies don't usually rate as useful, but this picture says something different.
We don't usually think of flies, bluebottles and, later in the year, wasps as helpful. But they're all making a contribution.