A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

Monday 19 April 2010

Lost in Spain

Unfortunately, or maybe not, a quick trip to Spain by your authors has by virtue of the Icelandic Volcano and Ryanair become a much longer visit.We cannot therefore update this blog as we are away from the cotswold countryside in an unusually wet Spain.
We could have shown you the migrant Swifts refueling in the Donana Wetlands but did not bring the camera lead on a short trip.
These remarkable birds were feeding low over the flooded countryside but of course not landing as they spend their life on the wing only landing to nest.
Hope to be back at the end of April but who knows!

Sunday 11 April 2010

Limestone Hills

The creamy coloured stone much admired in Cotswold villages comes from quarries near the top of the Cotswold escarpment where the oolitic limestone comes to the surface.
The track next to this quarry is deeply grooved with the marks of the heavy carts transporting the stone down to the village below.
This stone is a better quality than the Marlestone lower down the hillside.

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Dogs Mercury

A woodland plant with green flowers and green leaves that is often ignored but its prescence indicates long established woodland. Dog in this case means bad as the plant is poisonous and should not be confused with similar edible plants.
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Abundant in woodland clearings and roadside banks the Primrose is another popular spring wild flower in bloom at this time of year
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Saturday 10 April 2010

Oak or Ash

"If the Ash is out before the Oak we are due for a soak. If the Oak is out before the Ash we are due for a Splash"
This is a well known weatherlore saying ,and this year despite the recent spell of dry and sunny weather the green leaves of the ash tree are bursting out before any sign of green oak leaves. If the rhyme is true we should be due a wet summer !
Let's hope not.
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Thursday 8 April 2010

Spring Lambs in the Cotswolds

Sheep were once the source of wealth in the Cotswolds as flocks were kept on the wolds and the streams in the many valleys provided the water power for many woollen mills.
Fullers earth is also found on the Cotswolds enabling the grease to be removed in the fulling mills.
There are now fewer sheep on the Cotswolds but spring lambs still make a welcome sight.
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Wednesday 7 April 2010

Springtime in the woods
Spring is now well underway .The Chiffchaffs are here and loudly singing their distinctive song. If you don't know what a chiffchaff sounds like the clue is in the name!
The woodland flora is contiuing its frantic rush to flower before the summer canopy of leaves blocks out the sun.
Wood anemones are in flower and the leaves of the bluebells and wood garlic which will follow are pushing up.
It is my favourite time in the woods as before the leaf cover is established you can observe the birds as see the more distant views more clearly.
Each season has its own features and I love to walk the woods all year and feel very fortunate to live in the Cotswolds.
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Thursday 1 April 2010

Snow in Coaley Wood

Spring has come late this year.

Hopefully spring has now arrived,but the winter has been the coldest for many years. Now the days are getting longer and green shoots are pushing up everywhere.In the morning the dawn chorus of birdsong is a joy to wake up to.