A Woodland Walk to mark the Passing of April


The last day of April.  The coldest, driest and sunniest on record (at least in our part of the world).  The sun shone again, so off to Shipley Woods to see if Spring has really arrived.

Since our last visit 2 weeks ago, when the Beech trees were bare, they are now coming into full leaf.  Their ‘spring’ green leaves starting to form a thick woodland canopy.  It is a place of long shadows and intense spotlights of sunshine…… and that unique woodland aroma of spring. The perfect day and just right for a gentle potter.


The woodland Daffodil of the last visit have now all but vanished.  Instead the Bluebells have started to make their presence felt.  Not the full blue carpet yet, but not that far off.  They have to be quick,  once the woodland canopy casts it shadow, they will also vanish till next spring…. such a short life.


One surprise was the first sighting, this season, of a Rhododendron Bloom…..  OK. only small blooms – but the first of the season.


As we headed for home, passed the gate and started to glimpse the meadows beyond where the sun shone even brighter..

It is May tomorrow.  Spring is here….  but the sun on the meadows seem to say that summer will not be far behind


A green and pleasant land…. that’s Derbyshire

Goodbye April… hello May….. but do…

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

30th April

(C) David Oakes 2021

Another day…and Spring moves along at a pace.


April 13th and another sunny Spring day…. there is though a significant change.  There has been a strong wind blowing straight from the Arctic, so from 25c we are now down to 11c. which feels very much colder.  Frost forecast for tonight.

Not to be deterred from making their Spring entrance, the Bluebells are now spreading across the woodlands. Brings a smile to anyone’s face in these trouble times.



Down by the Lake the trees are staring to cast their leafy shadow….

after all that time waiting, Spring is here


Another day when I count myself lucky to be able to discover the charms of Spring.  I do understand that many folk in these difficult times cannot enjoy a taste of the outdoors.   So I do hope this brings a little of the fast moving Spring home to you.

Please Remember…

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

13th April

(C) David Oakes 2020

Spring Time Sunshine……


Thank goodness, another bright sunny start. I guess even in these rather strange and desperate times the sun does its very best to bring a smile to many faces.

I am very grateful for the ability to exercise in a very spring like area. The Park upon which my daily walk with Buster takes me, is obviously the central point. But now that spring is really with us it is a joy to take in the blossom in various gardens on route.


The Park is amazingly deserted ( I saw only 9 folk passing in the distance in the hour long walk).  A strange feeling that does take time to accept as the current norm.


The woods are still very bare, the winter sun seems to be like a search light casting dark shadows, and yes there is just a hint of green on the tops.

There are other welcome signs of spring.  Forget me Not on path edges.  More Bluebells starting to thrust upward.  The last of the Daffodils are still putting on a bright show of their own.



This spell of good weather was too good to waste, so it was time to catch up on work in the garden….. with of course the odd break for tea and biscuits….. but all under the critical and attentive eyes of the Blackbird and Collard Dove.

With the subtle sent of the Blossom it was a rather good day.


Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

8th April

(C) David Oakes 2020

A Privilege….and not taken for Granted


Early Morning at Allestree, Derby

It is Sunday the 5th of April…. and it is a day full of Spring promise.  Early morning mist is lifting,  clear blue skies and a sun that really is starting to provide a welcome warmth.

I am one of the luck folk with somewhere to take my exercise.  I am also very much aware that many are unable to take advantage of an open air walk. It is a privilege.

So here are a few images from todays walk to share and I hope bring you just a little of the spring that is now starting to shape up rather well.


Trees are still bare, the Oak on the top of Burley Hill as stark as on many a winters day. The Silver Birch, that borders the Golf Course which is closed for the duration, waves it ever so fine top branches reaching up for warmth to encourage its leaves to burst…


But new growth is appearing, growth that over the next week will flourish into new clothes for the trees….

The Blossom on our Cherry Tree is also starting to show, but it is a few weeks later than usual….


The First of our ‘last’ batch of Daffodils has arrived alongside our first Camelia of this Spring.  So change is progressing at an increasing pace…

The more delicate flowers of the Wood Anemone are, for a short while, taking over the woodland floor, a carpet of white stars dotted with yellow buttons…


Colour is coming throughout the garden in front the Old Hall, it is the perfect compliment to a rather fine Sunday morning……

If you are one who cannot enjoy stretching your legs, even for a short while, in the sunny outdoors, then I hope these images help provide some virtual flavour to you of a sunny spring Sunday in these difficult times.

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

5th April

(C) David Oakes 2020

Spring is coming…. a Carpet of Hopeful Signs

_1020860qqq Wood Anemone

The Wood Anemone have now started to carpet the woodland floor.  It is a shame that they do not remain with us for that long.  But whilst they are here, the white star shaped petals with delicate yellow centre, balanced on a thin stem, atop its fern like foliage is one of those important markers of Spring…

Out on the meadows, the late afternoon sun, has started to make a late appearance.

And dare I say it,  there are signs of new buds on the Ash Trees.


Not sure if I can believe it, but the weather forecast for this weekend is for warm sunny weather…..just what we need to bring on the new spring growth 🙂

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

3rd April

(C) David Oakes 2020