Cold Outside….but only a flurry of Snow


The thermometer read minus 2c…it was cold and indeed overnight there had been a very light flurry of snow. Yep…it was cold so not surprising the birds made a bee line for the Feeders.

Mainly Blue Tits but also Great, Coal and Long tailed Tits, a few Buntings and a lonely Greater Spotted Woodpecker.  All great fun to watch the acrobatics whilst trying not to disturb them….in the cold they need the food.


On such a cold and very dull day they added some sparkle to the morning.

31st January

(C) David Oakes 2019



Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Rainbow Colours


Rostock, Germany

Colourful Street Frontages make even a sunny day…. even brighter.


Now that we are about to start another month then Easter cannot be far away….

So its might be time to start making your Easter Bonnet!   Your starter kit is here.


Two ideas for Cee’s Colourful Fun Foto Challenge. The link is here:-

Have fun and join in….

30th January

(C) David Oakes 2019





Winter is not my favourite season of the year….but even so it does have some high spots.

For me a walk through a Beech Wood in winter is rather magical….it is all those skeletons.  Some tall and straight, some rather bent, no matter which, a winter skeleton takes some beating….. even wind damage takes on a different look. It does help when last years leaves still grace the woodland floor, somehow the wind seems unable to do more that make minor adjustments to leaf mosaic.  The whole wood-scape takes on a new persona


29th January

(C) David Oakes 2019


Basking in Sunshine…..


Church of the Holy Cross, Ilam, Staffordshire

Yesterday, Sunday turned out rather nice and sunny.  It was another weather surprise as the previous two days had been a wintery mix of cold wind, dark days and some rain….yes, much needed rain.

Our walking destination was the Manifold valley where Staffordshire shakes hands with Derbyshire. Staring point was Ilam Village where this rather attractive church can be found.  It has a distinctive ‘Saddleback’ roof to its Bell Tower.  As most churches it is established on the foundations of an early Saxon Church, substantially rebuilt in the 17th century and further restoration work undertaken in the 19th century.


In the woods below the Church can be found another link to Saxon times..


The Battle Stone

Not far from the Church is the ‘Battle Stone’…. not sure how it got that name.  It is the stump of a Stone Cross, the head long gone.  It was discovered in 1840 when the foundations of a Cottage in the village were disturbed for rebuilding. I am told the carvings on the stone (which are hard to define) are of Saxon- Danish origins and date to the 11th Century a time when there were indeed tensions and violence in the area.  Nor am I aware of any specific reasons for the selection of its current location.

A Watery Place

This corner of Staffordshire is located on the south western edge of the area known as the White Peak. The underlying geology is Limestone, is porous allowing rain to create caves and waterways underground. In places springs reach the surface and natural ‘Wells’ have been created.

One such Well can be found just below the Church.


Over the centuries these Wells, that can be found in villages all over the White Peak, have been a vital source of water.  Protected and celebrated.  It is in this area that the custom of “Well Dressing” is still practiced. If you follow this link you can see one of my blogs…you can read about the nearby village of Tissington and its Well Dressing traditions. I hope you find it of interest.


28th January

(C) David Oakes 2019