A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

Monday 29 November 2010

Hoar Frost

Another cold day today but the frosted branches of the trees and hedgerows look beautiful even in the fog

Sunday 28 November 2010

Winter evening

A cold and frosty day today with the sun not breaking through until a few minutes before sunset,but what a spectacular sunset!
With the ground hard with frost and little wind it was a very pleasant day for an afternoon stroll.

Friday 26 November 2010

Frost Hollows

Now the sun is lower in the sky its rays do not reach many Cotswold valley bottoms leaving an interesting contrast of green fields where the sun shines with frost remaining where it does not.

Thursday 25 November 2010

Evening sunsets

One of the amazing things at this time of year is that after a cloudy day suddenly the sun appears below the clouds in the south west towards the end of the day. One of the bonuses of being retired is that instead of being stuck at work waiting for 5 O'clock we can enjoy a stroll and see the full effect of the sunset. It is especially dramatic when it highlights the outline of trees which are now bare of leaves.

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Uley Bury

What a superb day for a winter walk today with bright warm sunshine but frozen puddles.We took a stroll around the ramparts of the Iron age hill fort at Uley Bury and enjoyed fine views and had it almost to ourselves.

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Feed the Birds

With the temperature dropping the bird-feeders are very busy in our garden. We have at least five different types of tits who call. There is usually a queue for the feeders as the birds wait in the surrounding bushes for their turn. The feeder with black sunflower seeds is much more popular than the peanuts at present.
We found it difficult to photograph the action as there are so many birds coming and going. We finally settled on this one which shows three of the types: Bluetit, Coal Tit & Great Tit. Other regulars are Marsh Tit & the delightful Long Tailed Tits which don't come as often but are usually in family groups when they do!
Other regular visitors to our bird feeding station include: Chaffinch, Robins & Dunnocks who have learned to help themselves to this feeder too; on the nuts the Greater Spotted Woodpecker & Nuthatch. Blackbirds & Thrushes are also feeding on the ground nearby.We are always hopeful of rarer visitors such as a visit last year from a Redpoll.

Sunday 21 November 2010


Mistletoe is now bearing berries.It is a parasitic plant most commonly found on trees in old orchards.
It's use as a Christmas decoration is recorded since the eighteenth century and legend says it must not touch the ground between cutting and removal after Christmas.Some say it should be left hanging until the following Christmas and will protect the house from lightning.The most popular tradition is that of kissing under the mistletoe when one berry should be removed,the practice should finish when no berries remain

Thursday 18 November 2010


Most of the leaves from deciduous trees are now lying on the ground and begining the slow process of rotting down and returning thir nutrients to the soil. Many insects live in the leaf litter and play their part in the woodland ecosystem.

Tuesday 16 November 2010

Oak Trees

The English Oak is usually one of the last to loose it leaves hanging on to them tenaciously through the autumn gales when other trees have lost theirs
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Sunday 14 November 2010

Siberian Visitors

The arrival of Bewick Swans from Siberia is a sure sign Winter is not far away.
These birds make the journey to Severnside every year and usually come back to the same spot.
Swans are fed at WWT Slimbridge so large numbers appear here

Friday 12 November 2010


The Yew tree is notorious in that almost all of it is poisonous except for the fleshy red part of the berries which attract the birds.
Birds eat the berries but excrete the indigestible seed hence propagating the yew.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

What a difference a week makes

The Trees have lost many of their leaves in the last seven days and the glory of autumn leaves has been replaced by the more stark outline of the bare trees as shown in these two pictures of Coaley Wood
I like the sight of the shape of the trunks and branches and the different texture of the bark of the various tree species which is concealed by the leaves in the summer months.
Views to the valley are also opened up.

So the woods are still a great place to visit in the Winter months

Monday 8 November 2010


Wintering wilfowl gather in large numbers along the Severn Estuary escaping their northern breeding areas for the relative warmth of our shores.
This pair of Widgeon are finding plenty of grass at Slimbridge WWT after our mild autumn weather.
Numbers will continue to build over the coming weeks and the centre is well worth a visit over the Winter months.

Saturday 6 November 2010

Coaley in November

Still looking Autumnal but with many trees now bare of leaves as we move towards Winter.The view over Coaley towards the Severn Vale is stunning

Thursday 4 November 2010

Apples, apples, apples!

Well as predicted earlier in the year, autumn in our garden has brought a glut of apples. With the gales in the last few days the grass is covered with windfalls. So we have been busy pouring over the recipe books and so far created wonderful Apple Crumble, Autumn Chutney and for the first time a delicious Apple and Clove Jelly.

Tuesday 2 November 2010


A last look at the Beech leaves as most were blown off the trees today
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Monday 1 November 2010

Autumn Colour

It really has been a spectacular year for autumn colour with an early frost and relatively light winds.The Beech woods of the Cotswold escarpment are a magnificent sight in the autumn sunshine.