A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

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.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Blackberry Foraging

 The hedgerow brambles are ladened with blackberries at the moment so now is the time to gather the fruit to make jam or crumbles.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Autumn Crocus

On a recent walk around Westonbirt Arboretum we didn't see many autumn colours but a certain sign of autumn we did find were the autumn crocus which were showing well in the Silk Wood.

Tour of Britain

On Thursday the Tour of Britain passed through our area. It was a lovely sunny day as they cycled by and the crowds were out to enjoy the spectacle!

Monday, 29 August 2016

Hirondine Autumn Migration

 Summer is coming to an end and birds are heading south to spend the winter in warmer climes.
We counted around 300 mostly house martins on the wires near a local farm as they paused on their journey south. An hour or so later there were none left.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Willow Beauty Moth

Lovely little moth resting this morning just outside the front door. We hope we have identified it correctly by its feathered antennae and dark central cross line on the fore-wing.
Willow Beauty are apparently quite common and often rest on tree trunks you can see how well camouflaged they would be. Flight season is correct and can be attracted by lights at night. Also we have plenty of woodland nearby with suitable food plants for the larva such as Broad-leaf trees, Ivy and Honeysuckle.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Pheasant Nest

Pheasants normally nest earlier in the year so I was surprised to find this nest with 18 eggs when weeding our borders. Sadly the bird did not like being discovered and seems to have abandoned the nest