Looking West

Wild Meadow

In the earlier months of the summer, nature is such flood of colour, of life, but once we reach July that flood seems to break its bounds.  Suddenly its exhuberance looks wild and uncontrolled.  At Sun Rising, we strive to maintain a balance between the managed areas, that are tidy and accessible, and the untamed extravagance of nature: it is by mid July that I feel nature is laughing at the very idea.  The wildflower meadows are waist high with flowers and grasses, the purples of musk mallow, knapweed, red clover, meadow cranesbill, various thistles and field scabious mixed in with the brilliant yellows of trefoils, rattle and bedstraw, the occasional buttercup reaching through into the light, and the grasses are going to seed, with soft mauve and palest gold.

Looking West

Looking West

And when the wind comes, and bursts of summer rain, the grasses are starting to lie down, and suddenly it feels chaotic.  I sit in the grass, lie back and watch the clouds, listening to the grass hoppers and honey bees, and think of the human condition: the inner chaos of our thoughts and emotions which, like wild storms across a landscape, can leave us feeling totally disordered.  Yet taking a moment just to breathe in the quiet hum of the natural world, to watch the flora and fauna getting on with life in their own way, gradually, slowly, gently, nature guides us to feel how it all fits together again.

Poppies and Roses

Poppies and Roses

Both of the more mature roses around the roundhouse are now in flower, and the scent on a still day is so wonderful you can’t but pause and breathe it in as deeply as you can.  I love this photo: it shows so beautifully the calm of the place, together with the roses, a few poppies and scabious, young teasels and oxeye daisies, and of course the view towards the hills.  The gentle celebration of life that is an English summer’s day …

Poppies and Roses

Poppies and Roses

Broadbodied Chaser

Dragonflies

There are now a number of dragonflies at the pond, mating and laying eggs, darting with flashes of energy and colour.

Broadbodied Chaser

Broadbodied Chaser

Ragged Robin

Isn’t ragged robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi) a beautiful creature?  The petals hold sunshine and rain in a way that is quite unlike its neighbours in the wildflower meadows.

ragged robin

When we feel a battered by life, it lifts the heart through nature’s inherent generosity, as if through a natural allegiance it whispers to us that there is still beauty, even in what feels like the soft and shredded imperfection of emotion.

Indeed, now the wildflower meadow is in full bloom, it is wonderful to spend the warm and sunny days sitting on the edge of the meadow.  There is so much to see, every moment inspired by another flower, another glance of light or shadow, another tiny spider or beetle making its way through the jungle of growth, another butterfly or bee landing upon the open petals.

Bubbles for Theo

Bubbles

Sometimes I am sent photographs by families who have loved ones buried at Sun Rising, photographs that reach deep into my soul, sometimes with excruciating sadness, sometimes with utter delight, and sometimes a little of both.  Here is one that lifts me to a soul-smile and brings tears to my eyes.

Bubbles for Theo

Bubbles for Theo

Yes, it is taken at a jaunty angle, but have you tried to operate a bubble machine and take a photo at the same time … ?

The dramatic cloudscape has been common over these past few days, and above the meadow of buttercups, oxeye daisies, vetch, ragged robin, campion, red clover, plantains and so much more, the clouds are just glorious.

Rest in peace, little Theo, much loved. And thank you, Anna, for the lovely picture. X

Red Campion

Campion

A dreary summer’s day, with the sort of drizzle that is delicious on sun-warmed skin but chilly in a cool wind, and surreptitiously soaking: it is a day to find and remember the beauty in life.  How about this: red campion (Silene dioica).

Red Campion

Red Campion

Planted on a grave in memory of a fine fellow, much loved, this little plant has its flowers to the sunlight, and though I am anthropomorphising, each seems to me a face with a different expression from mischief to reflection to delight.

Buttercups beneath memorial saplings

Buttercups

The dandelion clocks are a haze across the wildflower meadow and beneath the saplings at Sun Rising, but the colour is now coming from the buttercups, countless brilliant yellow buttercups, everywhere!

Buttercups beneath memorial saplings

Buttercups beneath memorial saplings

Do you remember the days of childhood, lifting your chin as someone held a buttercup beneath it and informed you how much you loved butter? There is something beautifully strong and reckless about buttercups in such profusion that reminds us of childhood.  Amidst the memories of loss, let us feel the warmth that comes with memories of playful days and wonder.

Spring Foliage

Spring Foliage

The soft yellow-green foliage of new leaves is so beautiful.  Its brightness lifts the soul after a long wet winter, and its tenderness reflects our state – still waiting for the summer months to kick in and fill us with energy.  At Sun Rising, seeing the hedgerows green is always a delight, but watching the memorial trees put on their leaves is even more rewarding.

Spring Foliage

Spring Foliage on the Young Trees

Walking around the site, at this time I am checking every tree to check to see if they’ve made it through the winter.  Those newly planted last December are now putting out their first little leaves.  The cherries are coming into bloom, for some this being their first year of flowering (those that are three or four years old).  The trees that are now five or six years old are really coming into their own, with bluebells and wood anemones flowering beneath them.

With cowslips and dandelions across the meadows, it is a beautiful time at Sun Rising.

Yellow Hammer sketched by Robin Restal

Latest Newsletter

We have today published our latest newsletter for Sun Rising Natural Burial Ground.  Those receiving notification by email should get a note about it today, with a link to the website.  Those signed up to receive the newsletter by post should have it through their letter box around the weekend.  You can find it here : https://sunrising.co.uk/pdfs/newsletters/NRBGspring14.pdf

Yellow Hammer sketched by Robin Restal

Yellow Hammer sketched by Robin Restall

 

Spring Stars

The first of the blackthorn coming into bloom in the hedge at Sun Rising, with hazel catkins beside, and all of it sparkling with the dew in the sunlight through the thick milky mist.

Blackthorn and Catkins

Blackthorn and Catkins