The bees arrived today. It’s as if someone had sent out invitations because they all arrived at the same time. I walked out the back door and the air hummed. The cherry tree in my garden burst into flower on the first spring like day of the year and the bees are feasting on it.
For the past two weeks this tree has been the domain of one grumpy tui. Every year there is one, perhaps the same one keeps coming back. He has been waiting for the flowers to open and nearly gone mad trying to keep all the other birds out. The sparrows think it’s a great game and in groups of 5 or 6 tease him mercilessly. I’m sure I can hear them na na na naing as they wear poor old tui ragged dodging in and out of the branches with him on their cheeky tails. But the fireworks really start when another tui decides to drop by. They both fluff themselves up and their verbal sparring cascades out of the tree until the invader decides pickings are easier elsewhere. It all adds up to plenty of entertainment for us. Before the flowers started growing fat and tui was more relaxed about visitors, bellbirds sang from the tops and whiteheads and silvereyes cleaned the branches of scale.
I’m not entirely sure what variety it is and hope it’s not a Taiwanese Cherry, that beautiful menace that is invading the warmer parts of the country. It’s been in my garden for 20 years and I haven’t seen any sign of offspring so perhaps it’s not. We were going to cut it down this winter but it supports so much life at a time when the pickings are sparse that I think we’ll let it stay. We’ll just have to be vigilant for seedlings and enjoy the avian antics.