Thursday, 17 May 2012

A Walk in the Cotswolds - Part 2

For those who missed yesterday's post Pam and I are camping in the Cotswolds and exploring the area with a series of walks. 


At the back of our tent there's an interesting patch of stinging nettles and wild flowers backing up to the hedge. I can easily spend an hour or more poking around in undergrowth like this in my search for bugs! No honest! I love it! Just look at what I spotted yesterday morning; a family of Woundwort Shieldbugs. Aren't they cute? 

OK - I understand that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for the insect world but I find little creatures fascinating with such amazing lifestyles.

Anyway, today it was Pam's choice of walks so she selected one from our 'Pocket Pub Walks - The Cotswolds' by Nigel Vile. This starts and ends at The Kingsbridge pub in Bourton-on-the Water but as we had visited that particular hostelry yesterday we ended up at The Duke of Wellington instead. 

Our walk starts by the River Windrush which runs right through the centre of Bourton-on-the-Water.

This is a better walk than my own choice yesterday - for starters there's very little in the way of mud. Secondly, no hill at the end (Pam's pet hate) and the weather was very kind to us too.

The little villages of Lower Slaughter and Upper Slaughter are charming and worth meandering around. Here, small country cottages mingle amidst magnificent mansions often with an array of highly expensive cars in their long sweeping drives; famous footballers or pop divas maybe?

But more importantly; along a path leaving Lower Slaughter I spotted a Drinker Moth caterpillar just resting on a fence post and a small party of American walkers stopped to see what it was that I was photographing. When fully grown it's around 45mm in length and somewhat more colourful than the adult moth it will finally emerge into.

A short climb out of Upper Slaughter gives us a lovely view over drystone walling across a field of Oil-seed Rape and into the village itself.

A country lane looks through a tree-lined viewfinder at a couple of cottages below

Although the weather was kind and it didn't rain or hail as it did yesterday a changeable temperature saw us constantly taking off jumpers and minutes later putting them back on again. But the walk ended at The Duke of Wellington in brilliant sunshine where we had a pint sitting by a tributary of the River Windrush and watched a pair of Grey Wagtails courting on a small rocky island. Well. I use the word 'courting' lightly as the female wasn't having any of it. The male was trying to woo her with his magnificent display of hopping into the air, vigorously wagging his tail and twisting round in a fabulous ariel display which just left the female completely nonplussed! Talk about 'cold-shoulder' the poor male would have had more success impressing a slug.

As we sat in this tranquil spot we deliberated on our many choices for an evening meal back at camp; should it be bacon, egg and beans, or perhaps a tin of stew from Marks & Sparks? Then I remembered we'd just passed a chippy, so we walked back, bought our fish & chips and ate them out of the paper sitting on a bench the other side of the river.

We know how to live! Oh yes!

The mallards, jackdaws and pigeons enjoyed the scraps too.

Catch you all soon - thanks for following


Anonymous said...

Paul, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy following you and Pam on your walks. The pictures are beautiful and make me wish I could join you on your rambles. Thanks for sharing your love for the countryside...and of course, the lovely little insects!

Take care,
Lynne Sherman
Nova Scotia, Canada

Paul e Watts said...

Thank you for your kind words Lynne. Much appreciated!