A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

Sunday 30 May 2010

Ready to fly the nest

These four fledgling Thrushes will soon be ready to leave their nest in our shed and try their wings for the first time.

Waves in the meadow grass

The grass in the meadows is getting long and will soon be cut for for silage to feed the livestock in the winter.Meanwhile the wind makes waves in the grass like water.When the fields have been cut the grass will regrow and be used for summer grazing of cattle and sheep.

Friday 28 May 2010

Narrow lanes even narrower

The speedy growth of Cow Parsley on the roadside verges makes our narrow lanes even narrower for a while,until the banks are cut back.

Wednesday 26 May 2010

Time for a haircut?

These sheep look distinctly uncomfortable in the hot weather as it must be time to be shorn of their winter coat of wool.

Tuesday 25 May 2010

Happy as a pig in muck?

There is not even much mud about after recent dry weather.These free range pigs look happy rooting around in the field and must have a much better life than those cooped up in factory farm sheds

Sunday 23 May 2010

Summer Shade

As the temperatures rise the leaf canopy has become more dense giving welcome cool dappled shade from the summer sun. These beech trees are in the Slad Valley made famous by Laurie Lee in his novel "Cider with Rosie"

Saturday 22 May 2010

Woodruff is a delightful plant found in woods and hedgerows of the Cotswolds at this time of year. It's leaves are in whorls under delicate white flowers and looked so pretty in the bright spring light yesterday.

Friday 21 May 2010

Harts Tongue Fern

Just as you thought the Harts tongue fern was dead the new shoots spring up from the remains of last years foliage.
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Thursday 20 May 2010

Down by the River

On a warm spring day the banks of the Severn are a fantastic place to while away a few hours. At low tide Shelduck sift the mud for snails.Sedge Warblers and Reed Warblers chatter in the reeds.The Severn is a mile wide at this point and has the second highest tidal range in the world.
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Monday 17 May 2010

Wood Garlic

One of the last of the spring woodland plants is Ramsons or Wood Garlic.The unmistakeable aroma of garlic permeates the woods and the white flowers line the edge of the woodland paths. The leaves and bulbs can be eaten though we have never tried them.From now on the woodland canopy of leaves starts to block the sunlight leaving only the ferns surviving in the shady conditions.
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Saturday 15 May 2010

May is out!

"Don't cast a clout til May is out "is the old saying meaning don't discard your winter clothing before the weather is settled. Some say this refers to the end of May , but more likely it means until the hawthorn or may blossom blooms. So Summer is coming as the hawthorn hedges are starting to flower.

Thursday 13 May 2010

Apple Blossom

Apple trees are now in blossom so we hope there will be no more frost and a good crop later in the year


The Cowslip, a member of the primrose family, grows well in the grassy meadows of the Cotswolds. On Minchinhampton common http://tiny.cc/eb3h1 we saw them insterspersed with early orchids as they are ideally suited to the unimproved limestone grassland.

Wednesday 12 May 2010

Countryside has gone yellow

Not everyone's favourite crop but the bright yellow fields of oil seed rape certainly add colour to the fields at this time of year.All of a sudden there seem to be yellow fields everywhere you look
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Sunday 9 May 2010

Views Disappear

The welcome establishment of the new season's green leaves does mean that the more distant views from the woods across the valley now become obscured by the foliage.
It does mean that summer is coming and we spotted the arrival of the first swifts yesterday.

Friday 7 May 2010

Cattle back in the Fields

It's good to see the beef cattle back out in the fields grazing after spending the winter in their covered yards. Now the grass is growing and they are back out in the pastures .

Wednesday 5 May 2010

13 Ducklings

This Mallard spotted today with 13 ducklings following behind. Unfortunately mortality is high amongst young ducks so she is unlikely to have this many for long.

Tuesday 4 May 2010

Bluebell Woods

It's time for that much loved English countryside scene of woodland carpeted with deep blue flowers.The UK has around half the worlds bluebell population and they favour broad leaf woodland. They do not like disturbance so are a good indicator of ancient woodland.
For more details see the Woodland Trust site

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Sunday 2 May 2010

Green Leaves of Springtime

We are back in beautiful Gloucestershire at last after a rather longer than anticipated stay in Spain.
While we were away the trees were bursting into leaf transforming the woodlands around our cottage. I particularly like the bright green of the Common Beech which looks so bright and clean when it first comes into leaf.Some rave about the colours of autumn which are also spectacular but I prefer the fresh new growth
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