Hedgehog Street Photo

Hedgehogs

I’m sorry that we won’t make this great event on 21 November in Telford, but next year we are planning on comprehensive hedgehog surveying at Sun Rising throughout the spring, summer and autumn.  Do let us know if you are interested in getting involved.

Hedgehog Street Photo

Hedgehog Street

Event : http://www.hedgehogstreet.org/data/The_Day_of_the_Hedgehog/hogcon15.jpg

Rose Hips at Sun Rising

Autumn

The crisp mornings that soften into warm sunshine, heavy showers, cool evenings and starry nights, are such a delight of autumn.  Although the prospect of winter ahead can be unsettling for many, we must make the most of these beautiful days, and all the colours they bring.

Rose Hips at Sun Rising

Rose Hips at Sun Rising

The cherry trees, guelder rose and field maples are all now turning, the shorter days and cold nights encouraging them to withdraw from their leaves, gently, slowly, quietly, settling themselves to rest.  If only we too, as human beings, knew how to sleep through the winter …

Sunset at Sun Rising (Claudia McHardy)

Sunset

The colours of autumn are just starting to spread now, with the field maple at the entrance covered with russet and copper.  This photograph, taken by Claudia McHardy, of an extraordinary sunset at the burial ground, seems to take the autumn colours and set them alight in a way that warms the heart.  Thank you, Claudia.

Sunset at Sun Rising (Claudia McHardy)

Sunset at Sun Rising (Claudia McHardy)

The Pond (Steve Sykes)

Photographs

This is a beautiful photograph I wanted to share, taken by Steve Sykes a month or so ago, of the pond at Sun Rising.  I love the clouds reflected in the water, but the emperor dragonfly is just beautiful.  The detail picked up by the camera is amazing.  Thanks for sharing the picture, Steve!

The Pond (Steve Sykes)

The Pond (Steve Sykes)

Blackberries

The Friends and Other Events

Over the weekend The Friends of Sun Rising had their AGM.  It was a lovely day, with many gathered to listen to what has been going on, and to share ideas for the future.  Thank you to all who attended.  Thanks too to interfaith celebrant Melanie Sopp, who gave a talk on her experience of working as a funeral celebrant.

If you are not yet a subscribing Friend, or need to renew your subscription, do get in touch.  Or check the web page : https://sunrising.co.uk/friends/join.html.  A copy of the Minutes will be going out to all Friends who have email, and all those who asked for a copy by post.

The next date in our diary, and hopefully a date in yours, is our Bulb Planting day on Sunday 25 October.  This will be from 11 am – 1 pm.  There will be bulbs, wildflower seed packs, honey and cards for those who would like them – but if you do want bulbs, let us know, so we can make sure we have enough!

By then the colours of autumn will be everywhere.  At Sun Rising, they are just beginning to show, with scarlet rose hips, the viburnum and dogwood leaves beginning to turn, and the blackberries …

Blackberries

Blackberries

 

After the Mow

Harvest

Most commonly we are said to have four seasons, but being thoroughly involved in the landscape it seems evident to me that there are five: winter freezes, bringing dormancy and hibernation, spring is the time of waking, summer is the time of flowering, harvest is the time of fruiting and bringing what we sown, and autumn is the time of leaf fall and letting go.

They meander over the months of our year, but winter is often late November until late February when the hedgerows and snowdrops come into bloom with the first whispers of spring.  Summer takes over in early May and lasts until mid July, when harvest comes, lasting until the last of the warm evenings of September.

On such a reckoning we are in the midst of harvest, and at Sun Rising this is evident with the cutting of the wildflower meadow and tidying of burial areas.

After the Mow

After the Mow

It took us a week or so cutting, mowing, strimming, scything, and a weekend to rake it up.  In the wildflower meadow, where we are striving to keep the soil fertility low, it is crucial to gather up and remove the arisings; beneath the growing trees we do so less stringently and only to make sure it looks natural but not messy.  Our volunteer day on Saturday saw 20 sturdy and wonderful people, gloved and booted, wielding rakes, gathering up the hay.  It was a beautiful but hot day, and there were good breaks for drinks and picnic, with some lovely food brought and shared.  Thank you to all!

The burial ground looks quite different now.  After some rain this week, the stubble will green up.  We’ll tidy the paths in a week or so, then the final mow will take place in October, ensuring we are ready for the winter.

Peppered Moth

Beautiful Moths

Another moth survey this week was carried out by moth man Alan Prior, whom we joined in the early hours of the morning as he emptied the traps and counted the little creatures who had made their way to the light traps.  I wanted to show you a photo of this beautiful fellow : a peppered moth (Biston betularia).

Peppered Moth

Peppered Moth

Look at the little stripy legs and the feathered antennae: what an amazing creature.  Some readers may remember it from biology class at school, as peppered moths are a species that showed the process of evolution.  Individuals became increasingly dark during the years of industrialisation and its pollution, until the wholly dark melanistic form (f. carbonaria) became dominant in areas of the north of England.  As our manufacturing industry declines, so the darker form is declining too.

Thank you, Alan, for the survey and the extraordinary photograph.

Green Flag logo

Green Flag Award

We are proud to have been awarded a prestigious Green Flag this year.

Green Flag logoThe Green Flag award scheme was launched in 1996 to recognise and reward the best parks and green spaces in the country. The rigorous Green Flag judging process measures each site against a list of criteria which includes cleanliness, safety, sustainability, heritage conservation and quality of management. It continues to represent the national standard of excellence against which parks and green spaces are measured. For more information about Green Flags, please check their website, or have a look at the Sun Rising page on their website.

There’s a rather nice little piece in one of the local newspapers too : check The Banbury Guardian website to see it online.  Some of the quotes are strangely worded, but you’ll get the idea!

Common Banded Hoverfly on Creeping Thistle Flower

New Photographs

We’ve just uploaded a number of new photographs to our Flickr site – this time in the Pond album and the Butterflies and Bees album.  Do have a look, and share the links with friends and family.

Common Banded Hoverfly on Creeping Thistle Flower

Common Banded Hoverfly on Creeping Thistle Flower