Autumn comes to a close…..


The leaves fall, the trees are nearly bare.   Autumn comes to a slow close.  Enjoy every little bit of the autumn that is left otherwise it will be a long winter.

Please Remember ….

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

24th November

(C) David Oakes 2020

One Year on………


A year ago the River Derwent had burst its banks.  Flooding over a wide area of Derbyshire.  The above image was taken as the waters receded.  But respite was short lived and floods returned in December and lasted well into February.

Despite the heavy rains over the past few days, and indeed an extended wet period in October, the River Derwent is running past Darley Abbey in a sedate fashion, Autumn colours reflecting in the smooth waters…


The last few days have also seen some high winds,  as always in autumn it has stripped many trees of their leaves.  But in todays brief splash of early morning sunshine, like the river, all looks calm, mellow and autumnal.



Please Remember ….

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

19th November

(C) David Oakes 2020

A Perfect Early Morning….


If we needed a reminder that the year was heading towards its close, then the low early morning sunshine did exactly that.  Long dark shadows, and a sun, where it fell, acted like searchlight…dazzling bright.  It certainly dazzled us as we walked through the village on the way to the woods.

Nor was it just the Graveyard by the village Church that was quiet.  The Village and then then Allestree Woods were also quiet.  Whilst it is nice to enjoy the peace and solitude it also seems so selfish not sharing the joys of the morning.  Thankfully a few of the familiar dogs had dragged their humans out for walkies….

The weather, from start to finish this year, has without doubt effected the seasonal changes in our trees and plants.  Spring seemed late to arrive, autumn was also slow to start and when it did the usual pattern of the autumn seemed different.  Silver Birch with their fragile leaves are normally, for us at least, the first to fall…. this season they have hung on till most of the Beech trees are bare.  The Oak have had a bumper crop of Acorns, normally slow to enter the change, they have started to turn in colour. Whatever the effect the weather has had on our climate, I can vouch for the fact that the Fly Agaric fungi has had, and still has, a successful autumn…


Again we were proved right to ‘get out early’.  Once again, by midday, the sun did its disappearing act… as we left the Lake, cloud cover was already heading our way.   So we headed home smug in the knowledge we had enjoyed the best of the day…


So whatever the weather tomorrow…..

Please Remember ….

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

13th November

(C) David Oakes 2020

A Dazzling Start…….


After days of grey damp starts this morning was bright and cheerful..  A bright Autumnal sun cleared the horizon so we headed off to Big Wood for an early quick walk…too good an opportunity to miss…

_DSC9559_00012qqq It was the turn now of Silver Birch leaves to glow on the woodland floor adding warmth to those areas of the wood, where the sun probably wouldn’t reach, now that its arc is so low in the sky……


It must have been early, once we were out of the woods, there were still no one about.  Makes a change, a change that left Buster rather puzzled….nobody to play with !


As for the day that started full of promise……  well, we had the best of the day.  The sun decided that playing ‘hide and seek’ would be fun……  it spent much more time hiding, just teasing us occasionally.

No matter the weather……  

Please Remember ….

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

12th November

(C) David Oakes 2020

This is what a November Day should be like….. Frost, Mist and Golden Sunshine


A Golden Glow in Shipley Woods……  but a lingering mist across the fields..


The early Frost cleared and that late autumnal sunshine was just the encouragement that some folk needed to pause and enjoy…

The Beech Trees gave us colour, the Chestnuts gave us strange skeletons reaching for the sky.  Long shadows from the low sun adds to the woodland mystery… so join us on a leisurely walk through the woods….on a day like today there is no need to for haste….

There was a bonus to the morning.  The Lodge Tea Rooms were open.  In these Lockdown days, it was of course ‘take away” only…. so two coffee’s to go please.

_DSC9403_00035qqq  So a pause to enjoy the view over this placid area of Derbyshire countryside.  Shipley Woods is part of the much larger Shipley Country Park.  The woods have been there for years, part of a one time private estate.  The Country Park was created over the last 50 year.  The land you see in these two views would once have been over Pit Heads for Coal Mines and the industries that coal supported.  In more recent times after the collieries closed, Open Cast Mining took over.  Now, along with the Park that is built upon reclaimed ground,  the Open Cast areas are returning to nature, it presents a very different view….if you didn’t know better you would have thought it was always like this…


    The Mist lingered long into the day, a perfect backdrop to the Oak that has yet to agree that autumn is on the way…


But we will let the autumn colours complete our walk…


By the time we returned home, the weather front that we could see creeping over the horizon, now started to look like a real winter evenings sky.  Hope you enjoyed the walk….it could be the last of the real autumn walks…. so not a bad one to complete the season…


As always in these troubled times…

Please Remember ….

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

6th November

(C) David Oakes 2020