A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

Thursday 31 October 2013

Winter Wheat

We tend to think that autumn is a time when everything is dying back in preparation for the chilly winter weather ahead but many of next year's crops are already sown and germinating as the green shoots of this winter wheat show.
Crops like this need a period of cold weather when they become dormant before they resume growth and develop  into next year's harvest. They are planted immediately after harvesting the previous crop.

Monday 28 October 2013

Autumn Leaves

Still plenty of leaves and  autumn colour left in Coaley Wood despite the storm last night. At least one tree down but not as bad as we expected from the forecast.

Sunday 27 October 2013

White Bryony berries

Walking near Painswick yesterday was very pleasant in between the storms, the hedgerows have many different types of red berries which according to folklore predict a harsh winter to come.
At least the birds and other wildlife have plenty to feast on at present. The birds in our garden are not that bothered about visiting the feeders at present, there is plenty of other food around for them at the moment.
Write Bryony berries are very attractive as you can see below, but poisonous to humans. The leaves of the plant are the yellow ones which are dying but the berries look splendid in this old mixed hedge against all the other leaves.

Wednesday 23 October 2013

White Spindles

We spotted this interesting fungus in the fields above Uley today.
We had not seen this before but think it is Clavaria Vermicularis . The common name is white spindles which seems a good description of its appearance.
It is widespread throughout the Northern Hemisphere but not common and is reported to be edible but not really worth the effort of collection!

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Autumn Colours

 Autumn colours are starting. Experts are predicting a wonderful autumn display this year due to the cold spring and warm summer. The trees have had perfect conditions to allow sugars to build up in the leaves which help to create the wonderful autumn colours.
We shall see whether they are right in due course. They say the peak will be towards the end of this month and the first week in November.
At the moment we are experiencing blustery conditions,  temperatures are still mild and the leaves are falling fast.

Sunday 20 October 2013


Walking today with the Cotswold Wardens in Ozleworth Bottom we wondered why seagulls were flying around the lake intent on something. Near the stream we found this claw and all was revealed. The stream has been invaded by European or Noble Crayfish.

Saturday 19 October 2013

Sunshine after rain

Nice sunset when the skies cleared after this afternoon's heavy rain.

Sunday 13 October 2013

Ploughing Championship

Now that most crops have been harvested farmers are busy preparing the ground for next years crops by ploughing.
We paid a visit to Herefordshire to watch the activity at the British National Ploughing Championship and marvelled at skill and enthusiasm of the competitors.
There are 15 different classes with competitors using modern tractors,vintage tractors or traditional horses to demonstrate their ploughing expertise and points are awarded for the accuracy and appearance of their entries.

Thursday 10 October 2013

Whooper Swans arrive

The arrival of migrating swans is a sign of the approach of winter and today the northerly winds brought not only cooler temperatures but the first three Whooper Swans probably from Iceland to Slimbridge.
Bewick Swans are more common here and will no doubt follow shortly.

Sunday 6 October 2013

Maize Harvest

 Contractors are busy harvesting maize and rapidly remove the impenetrable field of vegetation as we found when walking the field path. Maize is grown as feed for the livestock during the winter months