A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Winter sunset

After a cold and almost dry day we were able to enjoy a lovely winter sunset which highlighted the Oak tree. It's still wet underfoot after storm Imogen but the wind has dried up many of the paths and we enjoyed getting out for a long walk with our rambling friends, thanks Karen for leading us around the Uley valley and hills.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Early Spring Flowers

 It has been a strange winter so far with daffodils in bloom in December.
Now we have a profusion of snowdrops only a little early  and also cherry blossom starting to come into flower.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Winter Birds

In the winter months the area near the Severn estuary particularly near Slimbridge WWT are haven for overwintering birds.
Thousands of birds flock there in what Sir Peter Scott described as an avian Serengeti.
Large numbers of ducks including Teal,Widgeon, and Pintail mix with Geese, Bewick Swans, Lapwing, Golden Plover and many other species make this a truly magnificent spectacle especially on a sunny day. Unfortunately sunny days have been rare so far this winter!

Saturday, 26 December 2015


 Marshfield Mummers perform their traditional Boxing Day play in the village of Marshfield every year. King William once again slays Little Man John at various places through the village in this ancient play enjoyed by locals and visitors.
Don't worry Dr Phoenix is there to come to he rescue.

Thursday, 24 December 2015


 The fruits of the blackthorn are still plentiful in the hedgerows although they are starting to wither. Traditionally people wait until they are frosted before gathering but there has been little frost during this exceptionally mild autumn.
Now many pick the sloes and put them in the freezer, or prick them before adding to the gin so that the juices run into the liqueur.
Sloes also make a delicious jelly when cooked with apple. The sloes give it a festive red colour.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Blue Sky and vapour trails.

Days are short in December and many are dull and wet but the sky does clear sometimes and we had spectacular views across towards South Wales with lots of vapour trails from westbound jet aircraft as the sun was low at around 3.00pm yesterday.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Willow in the sunshine

Weather experts have recorded November 2015 as the dullest in terms of sunshine for 86 years.
Today we were lucky along with other visitors to be treated to a brief sunny spell on our visit to Slimbridge WWT. The willows were showing off their many colours as the sap starts to rise in the bare stems, together with the pampas grass heads.
We visited at high tide and the estuary was a delight with flocks of Golden Plover, Dunlin and Lapwings swirling together with large numbers of ducks, geese and swans. December is a good time to visit.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Winter in the woods

Where does time go...it's a month since our last blog!
The landscape here looks decidedly more wintry each week with most leaves blown from the trees and under our feet as we tramp through the woods. 
A few younger trees hang onto their leaves and of course the holly and ivy remain green. 
The bare woods mean that bird life is easier to spot so keep an eye out like us.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Bewick Swans Return

From late October the Bewick Swans begin to arrive from Siberia to spend the winter months in the milder climate of the Severn Estuary. This year the first Bewick arrived on 11th October which was the earliest ever recorded and the yearling was named accordingly as "Record Breaker" by WWT. This weekend others around twenty other swans have arrived in fact quite late.
These include Maisie BEW103 (above) one of the swans which has a tag radio transmitter so that researchers can track their flight paths. Scientists tracked Maisie as she flew from Oneg in Russia (just south of the arctic circle) to Latvia, Estonia and the Netherlands to Slimbridge.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Autumn sunset

Seems every time we look at the countryside it looks even more autumnal. After a rainy day the sun came out with its long shadows. With the clocks due to go back tomorrow morning we are enjoying the colours as winter approaches.