Just sitting in the open space that is the actual garden of my parents here in Pode Hole it's amazing just how quickly you make friends.  Not with people, you understand (though my parents are very grateful for the effort I'm putting in) but with the insects, birds and assorted other visitors.

Mum used to have a robin red breast - Wonky - that visited her garden.  Wonky went awol at some point not that long ago, but now there are two red robins back playing in the pear tree.  Also, we seem to have a dunnock - a small sparrow type thing.  It's tiny, but each morning when I'm out sorting the herbs there he is playing in the hedge and tree.
I like the fact that this Dunnock - let's call him Perky - in true description to his bird-type is slightly nervous, hesitant and jumpy.  He sits right in the heart of the branches and is barely visible.  But his movement is sharp and the effect very stark.
This morning's big task for me was trimming off the bay leaves from their stems, to be dried and sorted, and later stored (once dried).  The issue with sorting the bay leaves, is making sure you don't have ones that been eaten, munched, nibbled by the rich array of snails, caterpillars, spiders, slugs, birds and more.  What surprised me, indeed stunned me, was the sheer range of snails, spiders and slugs I am encountering, as I sort the branches.  The snails are so small that my naked eye could not appreciate all their features and the shells show off a pallette of colours with rich and deep yellows, browns and greens.  Some shells are in dark dulled matt as a disguise, others in bright sunshine sheen - they cling to the half eaten leaves gleaming up at me with the satisfaction of a sluygish stomach well filled.
And as you appreciate the food and herbs that ones is harvesting, you develop a sense that you are taking the herbs and turning them into natural useable food additives.  So too these insects and creatures, in their own tiny and bespoke way, are adding to the rich environmental food cycle of which you and I might be a larger part, but they are no less important for it.
And reading back over my notes and cards that I am writing, I can't deny a quiet satisfaction that this activity of mine is helping my parents and family and tidying the garden.  All this and making no negative impact in the environment with nothing thrown away and no-one destroyed at the expense of anything else.  Wow, the satisfaction is deep...