A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

Monday, 7 November 2016

Bewick Swans Return

 Colder weather brings the return of the Bewick Swans from their summer breeding grounds of Siberia to our relatively balmy climate.
Numbers have been dropping in recent years and the WWT Flight of the Swans campaign aims to bring the attention of communities along the migration route to the plight of the Bewick Swans.
Let's hope they are successful in saving these beautiful for future generations.


Sunday, 6 November 2016

First Frost

The first frost of Winter whitened the fields this morning and will be the beginning of the end of many of our summer garden plants.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Coaley Wood in Autumn

 Autumn colours are beautiful throughout the local woodlands as we saw on our late afternoon stroll

Wednesday, 2 November 2016


We have noticed a proliferation of mole hills and runs around here this year. Wondering if it is due to the fairly dry conditions or youngsters establishing their own territory. Moles eat the equivalent of their body weight every day be it worms, insects or beetles. Hence it comes as no surprise to learn that in autumn they catch and store up earthworms to keep them going through the winter. Apparently they chew off the front end of worms to stop them crawling away so that they stay alive in the runs and remain alive so providing the mole with fresh food for several months.
Whatever gardeners probably won't be too happy to have their lawns covered in tumps of soil like these.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Parasol Mushroom

Parasol mushrooms are abundant it the pasture near our house. They are said to be edible and delicious but some very similar looking mushrooms are poisonous so we are not are not confident enough to try.
The American species which has greenish gills instead of white is poisonous and is spreading in Britain.
Even the edible species can cause gastric upsets in some people.

Sunday, 23 October 2016


 A family tradition is to visit the Uley Village Fireworks display and it never fails to delight. For a small village they put on a tremendous spectacle!

Monday, 10 October 2016

Autumn Colour

As the temperatures drop and the days get shorter the trees are preparing to shed their leaves and the beautiful autumn colours start to show as this picture in the evening sunshine shows.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Early Autumn

As the sun goes down to the west these trees show off their autumn tints and the cattle graze often with long shadows.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Yellow Fluffy Caterpillar of Pale Tussock Moth

Whilst out on our walk today we found this amazing caterpillar crossing the road. On investigation it seems that it is a Pale Tussock Moth caterpillar. It rolled itself into a ball as we tried to photograph it and move it to the side of the road. We realise now that it was a bit foolish to try and handle it as it's spines can break off and cause severe pain but luckily we seem to have got away with it.
For more information see http://www.uksafari.com/paletussock.htm

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Grass Snake

The Grass snake is also known by some as the ringed or water snake. We didn't realise this until researching this snake after seeing this one whilst out with the warden at Slimbridge WWT the other day. Apparently grass snakes are often found near fresh water and feed most on amphibians.
This was one of two warming itself underneath this tin sheet. Later as temperatures drop they will look for places to hibernate that won't freeze such as underground.