For many years (I worked it out to be at least 20) I have spent time driving (not quite aimlessly) around the Cotswold looking for photo opportunities, typically in the area between Stow On The Wold and Cheltenham. Today I thought that it was time for another visit.
The day started reasonably well as I spotted a red kite just past the Gate Hangs High Inn outside Hook Norton but it was too far away for meaningful images so I moved on.
In another mile or so I sort of hit the jackpot as there were half a dozen red kites swooping over a field of newly cut grass and a convenient gateway to park in. I spent about 30 minutes here and there are 3 images in the Red Kite gallery.
The real objective of the day was to find a field of poppies, and I had previously photographed one on a back road between Upper Swell and Condicote (it appears in The Cotswolds gallery). As luck would have it the field was in bloom again but was well past its best, the way that the grass verge had been flattened by parked cars indicated that it had attracted some interest from photographers. At this point I had another stroke of luck as a passing walker directed me to another field about a mile away which, although slightly past its best, was in much better condition. She told me that there had last been poppies there about 10 years ago! This field had actually become a bit of a tourist attraction and there were at least half a dozen cars parked up and even a receptacle for donations to the local church into which I happily deposited £1 (this was the first time I'd used cash since the lockdown in March). I took several images, they weren't brilliant but I used Snapseed to "enhance" them and 2 are in The Cotswolds gallery.
I then went to another old haunt of mine which is in the middle of nowhere between Compton Abdale and Withington, it used to be a popular spot to photograph pheasants. On this occasion as I crossed a bridge over a small stream I happened to look down and spot a heron. I pulled up and managed to get one shot before it flew off down the valley. It's not a brilliant image bit I've again included it in The Cotswold gallery. A passing van driver who lived locally told me that herons and egrets are quite common in this location. This would have been particularly interesting if I had any idea what an egret was, but I hadn't so he explained that it was a type of heron which is white. I don't know that I've ever seen one.
Moving on I began to work my way home via Hawling and Guiting Power. On the very small back from between these two villages I came across another bird of prey but although I sopped and was able to take a couple of shots it was too far away to be of any use. My final stop was to take some images of solitary poppies in a field of oats(?). I was hoping to capture the oats and poppies swaying in the wind and therefore used my tripod but as it happened there was not enough wind to bring this idea to fruition. Despite this a very enjoyable day.