If you were expecting the Keats’ quote for October, “Season of mists” etc; sorry to disappoint you! This month it’s Spenser with “Then came October, full of merry glee”!
The park is looking splendid this month with the hedges festooned with berries. Folklore maintains that this will herald a hard winter. I wonder? What it definitely tells us is that the pollinating insects were very busy last spring! The trees were very early to change colour this year; starting in the 3rd week of September, for the first time that I can remember.
We’ll have to wait and see what winter will be and in the meantime just enjoy the autumn tints in our lovely park!
If you’re walking past the MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area) on your way to the little valley formed by the Pippenhall Stream and then Grey’s (the rugby) field. Take a closer look at the very large tree at the start of the avenue alongside the Holly hedge. This magnificent specimen is a Caucasian Wingnut; the dangling “ropes” of seeds give insight into why this tree was named “Wingnut”. If you want to show off your botanical knowledge, the seeds are “samaras”; Sycamore and Ash have samaras too!
Last month I wrote about the bats in Avery Hill Park. Having watched them more carefully over the past few weeks; I’ve come to the conclusion that our bat numbers are down this year. The evidence is that the tell tale urine stains at the entrance of our 5 bat roosts are much shorter this year. We had a very cold spring; with no food about the females will not have given birth. Keep your eyes open at dusk and see what you can spot flying around the hedges and larger trees. Bats don’t like wet, windy or cold weather. If you can see your breath condensing in the air as you breathe out; it will be too cold for the insects and bats to be flying. However, there’s a great food source and a chance to fatten up for the bats hibernation, now the Ivy is in flower. The Ivy flowers attract lots of insects and the berries later this month are a food source for many of our birds.
Whatever the weather, get out and enjoy our park; our park users are very friendly and our café always has a warm welcome.
All parks have a great history, created as public open, green spaces by visionary men and women for the people to enjoy.