A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds


Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Silhouette in the sunset

After another stormy day the winds died down and the sunset shows off the beautiful shape of this old oak tree near home.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Cotswold Sheep

Cotswold sheep are a very old breed of sheep which is good for wool and meat production. They are thought by some to have been in this area when or even before the Romans arrived.
The word "Cotswold" may have come from the sheep cotes or folds which ancient farmers built on the windswept hills or wolds in the area and so it is probably the sheep that gave the Cotswolds it's name.
So it is nice to see that our local farmer still has some Cotswold sheep. The black lamb belongs to another ewe so don't be fooled!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Coltsfoot

Coltsfoot is a member of the sunflower family and at this time of year when the sun shines as it has recently, it seems obvious as the flowers all stand up and look towards the sun. On dull days the little flowers close up and you can see the hairy stems.
Another feature of the Coltsfoot is that the flowers come first and as they go over then the leaves appear.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Spring Equinox and Solar Eclipse

Today is the Spring Equinox when days start to become longer than nights.
 We were also treated to a partial solar eclipse and went to Coaley Peak for a better view of the sky where many others were gathered to view the spectacle. The sun was 85% obscured by the moon and the light dimmed just enough to fool some of the birds into starting to roost.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Blackthorn

Hedges that have been dormant since autumn suddenly are now bursting into life as the blackthorn's white blossom emerges. Blackthorn is a common hedge plant and blossoms before the leaves emerge unlike the hawthorn which comes into leaf before blossoming.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Limousin Bull

Whilst out walking near Painswick we came across this magnificent Limousin bull and his herd of ladies and offspring. At first we felt worried as he stood in the corner where we planned to walk but he gently moved out of our way.
Limousin cattle come originally from France large numbers being brought here in the 1960s as they calve easily and produce excellent beef for the table. 
The youngsters look pretty too!
  

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Changing field use in Berkeley Vale


The Vale of Berkeley was at one time mostly dairy farms and pasture but times are changing as this view shows,What looks like a lake in the middle of the picture is a new solar farm  designed to generate 30MW of electricity and between that and the River Severn is Nebrow  Oak wood planted in 1998/99.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Spring Lambs

Lovely warm sunny weather today and newborn lambs in the fields.
Seems like Spring is here.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Herring Gulls "dancing" and eating worms


We often see buzzards stamping on the ground to bring worms to the surface to eat so we were interested to see these herring gulls engaged in the same activity when we were at WWT Slimbridge recently. Someone described it as dancing!
Click on the picture or use this link:
http://youtu.be/Vd0F6tSHXpo

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Pintail

One of our most elegant winter visting ducks in our area, the Northern Pintail will soon leave for its breeding grounds in Northern Europe.