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.

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

Pussy Willow Buds

After such a mild and very wet winter, it seems appropriate to share this photograph, showing the buds of the pussy willow by the pond at Sun Rising.  If you look closely you can see the sparkling of rain drops on the buds themselves.

Alder Buds

It’s a photograph taken on a phone, so not brilliant in quality, but it gives a good sense of the damp grey of the winter, but also the precious beauty of new life emerging.  Spring …

Frost

What a mild and wet winter we have had so far here in South Warwickshire.  The number of days when we’ve had a hard frost is still less than half a dozen.  When they do come, it is such a delight : cold but crisp, and you can feel the frost doing its job of cutting back, cleansing, clearing the environment, naturally.

Frost

Frost

Carols at Sun Rising

Carols at Sun Rising

On Sunday 15 December we held a concert of carols and winter songs at Sun Rising, which turned out to be a wonderful event, despite a burst of rain in the middle!  The choir was organised by Felix Mindham (whose mother and brother are laid to rest at Sun Rising), and wonderfully led by Cathie Zara, with singers from two local choirs: Low Wimmin Singing and The Leamington Plotters.

Among the songs and carols were old favourites that everyone could sing along to, together with less familiar arrangements, and a few new songs, finishing up with The Twelve Days of Christmas.  Here’s the choir with their Twelve Days cards.

Carols at Sun Rising

Carols at Sun Rising

With 50 – 60 people coming on the day, the warmed mince pies and mulled wined disappeared quickly, as did the array of greenery for winter wreaths provided by local florist Amanda Luther.  As a fundraising event for The Friends, we’ve yet to declare an exact figure, but we believe we took around £60 after expenses.

Very many thanks to everyone who contributed to and supported the event, with energy and organisation, bringing voices and enthusiasm.  Let us know what you thought of it!

Nova's Cabin

The Cabin

Putting up a completed webpage about some aspect of a project is always a good sign: it often marks either the beginning or the end.  I’m very happy to say that Nova’s Cabin at Sun Rising is now pretty much completely operational, and the webpage is up!  Have a look at https://sunrisingburialground.co.uk/visiting/cabin.html.  The key photo on the page is taken from the south western corner of the site, by the pond …

Nova's Cabin

Nova’s Cabin

Reds of Nature

Late Autumn

Tree planting this year has been just wonderful.  We’re over half way through now, having planted some 50 memorial trees, each one in memory of someone loved and remembered.  Some years, we are cowed under rain, or tight with biting cold.  This year the weather has been beautifully mild.  The russet colours of autumn seems at times still to be with us, the very last of the leaves just now falling, a month later than usual.

Reds of Nature

Reds of Nature

With the cabin now fully functioning, its woodstove has been humming through the course of tree planting day, which has helped as well, keeping us toasty and warm …

Rose Hips and Sheep Grazing

Autumn

With autumn’s beautiful colours, the sheep have now come to Sun Rising.  Kept off the burial areas with electric fencing, they are beautiful black faced lasses, who quietly watch the world around them.  If the weather doesn’t get too wet, they will stay on the grassland for a month or so, mowing down the last of the summer’s grass growth.

Rose Hips and Sheep Grazing

Rose Hips and Sheep Grazing

With the autumn has also come the rain.  Although the ground is still not too muddy, some newer graves, and the area around the new cabin, are now rather claggy.  With some sharp frost, the earth will break up, ready for spring …

(Please forgive the poor quality of this photo.  I’ve not quite got the hang of this new phone camera!)

Funeral Prices

In the latest edition of the Funeral Service Times, a report states that the average funeral now costs over £7000. At Sun Rising, without a funeral director, the average funeral costs around £2000.  And with a good local funeral director, it should cost no more than £3200.

FST Funeral Prices

Of course, you can pay as much as you like on a funeral, opting for expensive memorials and all the bells and whistles, but there is no need to do so.

The report was made by an insurance company, so perhaps there is an agenda about how much one should be putting into a pre-payment plan?