Thursday, 19 September 2013

A Full Season

This is a long delayed post! The Environment Trail continues in good health but the main news of the season has been the very fine improvement of the Sandbach Park Pond. at the time of writing the planned boardwalk is expected shortly, and the (now) thre ponds, which looked so bare in spring, are now bursting with new life and species, several unknown here before. On behalf of our A Rocha group I have been surveying it every month, my reports being much appreciated by Jez Sanders, the landscape architect and designer, and Mike Benson of the Park's Friends and chair of the Town Council. Our survey reports will now provide a historic base and guide to the newly refurbished Pond's wildlife. Just as a taster, I add below some pictures from the surveys, of Banded Demoiselle and Common Darter dragonflies and of Smooth Newt, trifid Bur-Marigold and of Purple Loosestrife by the pond - George

Monday, 13 May 2013

Bare hope

After a very late start all the wildlife on the Environment Trail is steaming ahead. Seasonal specialties are about, in particular Orange-Tip butterflies. (Note that only the male has orange tips; the female can be told by her delicate green-and-white chequered underwing. Other butterflies about include Speckled Woods, Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells and Large Whites.
It's great to see such vivid life starting from what seemed such a bare spring. Especially bare was the Sandbach Park Pond area following the recent major re-excavation of what are now three ponds. When all seems lifeless, life is more uregently about to spring up than ever - an Easter message! I have been surveying the pond and one highlight is the pair of Grey Wagtails, a species new to the Park, that have taken up residence. See if you can spot them! - George

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Death and New Life

Some of us might feel that the bitter east wind of late has been fairly deathly! I certainly do, having just returned from a visit in sunny Portugal to A Rocha's first centre at Cruzinha! The biggest news on the Environment Trail of late was the transplanting into the Park of some of the Common Spotted Orchids from Waterworks Farm (as an insurance against any recurring development work). Orchids are strange plants, able only to live in symbiosis with an unseen fungus that provides their nutrient needs. Perhaps they are analogous to us, for we also are nourished by a Partner we cannot see. Speaking of (similar) lilies, Jesus said that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of them. Orchids can be stunningly beautiful; and when they (hopefully!) appear from nowhere in the mossy turf we transplanted, they show us that there can be new life for any of us, no matter how cold and dark we feel, once we are connected to Him who rose at Easter as Saviour and Lord. No pictures of orchids yet, though - so here is a picture from the Trail, on the wall of St Mary's churchyard, of some moss! (probably Bryum capillare) - George