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  St John the Baptist, Wasperton
 

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ST JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH, WASPERTON
A SANCTUARY FOR WILDLIFE

Updated October 2021

St Luke’s little summer.
There is often about this time
a spell of fine, dry weather,
and this has received the name
of St Luke’s little summer.

This is one of the most famous English weather sayings and is adamantly believed by countrymen. However the figures tell a different story. The period 15th to the 21st October was tested for dry sunny weather. Also a minimum of three days allowed for a ”little summer” to occur. A 31 per cent chance of this happened when the 18th was one of the three days. A 41 per cent chance refers to any consecutive three-day period happening during 15th-21st. In fact the driest days were the 18th and 29th, which also coincide with our Indian summer. The name is derived from the North American Indians who relied on a fine spell in late autumn for harvesting.

Normally the third ‘old-wives’ summer dry period at the end of September continues into early October. Then it becomes stormy, 5th to 12th returning to quiet anti-cyclonic weather in the middle of the month. This see-saw pattern continues until the late autumn with storms arriving last week in October.

Here in the Churchyard we have moved into Autumn. I haven’t seen any bats around for quite a while now and the summer visiting birds have flown off to the south. I know they always do, but it still seems exciting somehow.

Interestingly, I haven’t seen any fieldfares yet, is it just me? They are usually in the field by the river. Our wild areas are very tidy now, all cut back and raked off. I know I shouldn’t grumble but I wish we didn’t have so many nettles and so much ivy. Such strong growers, out covering so many of our wild flowers.

I think I will try to help more variation next year and introduce other wild flowers. Only indigenous plants of course, from seed, and dig out some nettles and ivy. No poison! Seed beds again from the mole hills, they do have some use. Now we have finished the grass cutting the mole won’t be a nuisance until next year.

In lots of ways life is a bit easier for us in the Churchyard in the winter, mostly just keeping an eye on things. I was reading an article in the Warwickshire Wildlife magazine very recently saying how important bio-diversity is now in the whole country, and the government is taking more notice. Fancy, we have been doing the right thing for ages.

Thanks for all your support, much appreciated.

Mike Porter
01926 624909

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