A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

Friday 31 December 2010

End of 2010

The snow has gone for now and everything is looking a bit battered down ,but as the old year comes to an end and we look forward to the new one beginning there are signs of spring to come as naturalised snowdrops start to push there way up through the leaf litter.
Snowdrops are not native to the UK and are thought to have been introduced in the 16th century.They have naturalised well and are always a welcome sign that spring is on its way.

Monday 27 December 2010

Standing Dead Tree

This tree is dead but still standing and is a valuable habitat for insects and consequentialy woodpeckers. Although it looks dangerous the sap will have drained from the wood making it much lighter and less likely to cause damage when it does eventually fall.This is not to say I recommend loitering underneath.

Saturday 25 December 2010


Merry Christmas from Cotswoldyear.com

Friday 24 December 2010

Harlequin Ladybirds

Harlequin ladybirds.
We remember that last autumn there were lots of ladybirds around for a few days(but they didn't make a good photo). When looking at someone else's blog recently they mentioned the Harlequin ladybirds they had seen hibernating. This made us look again at the collection of ladybirds in the corner of our utility room. These too are Harlequin ladybirds, these are larger than the lovely seven spot ladybirds that we were used to in our youth and have 10 or more spots. They are the most invasive type of ladybirds on earth apparently and have been spreading across the UK since 2004.

Thursday 23 December 2010

Frozen Streams

The Ewelme stream in Uley makes a pretty sight in the winter weather partly frozen over.

Wednesday 22 December 2010


The apples which fell in the autumn have attracted the normally shy Redwings to our garden at last. We have seen and heard them and the Fieldfares around recently. This morning we were delighted to see that there were 6 of these delightful birds feasting alongside the 10 Blackbirds.
Most Redwings live in Northern Europe's forests and only venture west into Britain at this time of year when food is scarce.

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Mole Hills

The little gentlemen in velvet jackets are still busy under the snow eating worms and excavating tunnels.With fresh snow it is easy to see where they are most recently active as they push up fresh earth. Much disliked by gardeners for spoiling the look of lawns they are actually quite useful in stopping the ground becoming waterlogged.

Monday 20 December 2010

Winter Tracks

Lovely walking conditions if not so good for driving. The frost keeps the ground hard and boots clean!

Sunday 19 December 2010

Bright moonlit nights

The Winter solstice is nearly here and nights are long and days short but at least the moon is nearly full and shining on the snow covered countryside giving remarkable views during the nightime. Pictured is the moon rising above the woods with the oak tree still hanging on to its last few leaves

Saturday 18 December 2010

Snow Showers

Beautiful wintry scenes today after a light fall of snow overnight.With no wind and freezing temperatures the snow clings to the trees and the snow sparkles in the occasional sunny spells

Merry Christmas

They won't find us up here will they?

Friday 17 December 2010

Old Man's Beard

The fluffy fruits of the wild Clematis are known as Old Man's Beard for obvious reasons.They decorate the hedges and old trees at this time of year.
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Tuesday 14 December 2010

Fog in the Vale

Foggy days can be very beautiful from the top of the Cotswold escarpment where the sun often shines when the vale is immersed in gloomy fog. The outlying hills stick out like islands in a white sea.

Monday 13 December 2010

Pub Fire

This is what you need on a Cotswold Country Walk in Winter,a nice pub with a warming log fire. This one will be well known to some of our followers as the Rose & Crown at Nympsfield.

Sunday 12 December 2010

Winter Oaks

More frosty foggy weather today clearing to winter sunshine.
Its a good time to appreciate the shape and delicate tracery of the bare tree trunks and branches .

Friday 10 December 2010


The weather has turned milder today but it is still a long time to the spring but the signs are there that nature is preparing. Hazel catkins are already forming ready to grow and scatter their pollen in the springtime.

Sunday 5 December 2010

Apples for the Birds

The remains of the apple harvest are still lying on the ground providing a welcome food supply for Blackbirds and Thrushes

Saturday 4 December 2010

Swan Feeding

Many of us like to feed wild birds in the winter but WWT Slimbridge takes it to another level with its swan feeds.By now around 150 Bewick Swans have arrived at Slimbridge and this is one of the few places you can observe wild Bewicks close up. Numbers should continue to increase over the next month.
The swan feed can be seen at 4:00 p.m. if visiting the centre or as in the picture floodlit evening feeds can be booked by parties

Friday 3 December 2010

Snow Showers

We have escaped the worst of the winter weather so far in our area but the snow still makes a pretty sight. The hard frost makes walking easier and cleaner as the mud is frozen. Fields are white and hedges dark outlining the boundaries like a map.

Thursday 2 December 2010

Christmas is coming

What is all this about Christmas Dinner?

Surely they can't mean me!
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