November….. A month of Contrasts


Our weather here in our part of the UK has certainly been, lets say, interesting.  October was a month of record rainfall, it also recorded a series of record high temperatures for the month…. and sprinkled it with some lovely sunshine.

Now into November, nearly half way in and the weather still plays tricks.  By now we should be surrounded on all sides by autumn colour….. but not yet this year.

Currently it is a season of contrasts.  Morning mists, cool days, some rain , the occasional gale but mainly sunshine.

The contrasts are very evident in the woods.  The Beech leaves still bright shiny green, yet the woodland floor covered with brown leaves, leaves from both last autumn and a good number of dried leaves that fell in the summer droughts.


Here in  the Derbyshire woods at Calke, a wood of  predominantly Oak and Beech, you could well be fooled into thinking that it was still late summer.  Trees well covered with leaves and for the most part all looking healthy… shrugging their collective branches as if to say autumn…what autumn?

The Deer Park is currently a sunny meeting point. The Deer were also keeping their distance,

If you look closely you can spot a Male Fallow Deer Stag in the near distance.  He is relaxing with a few of his harem around him.  No doubt his seasonal duties completed for another year.  In the distance is a heard of Red Deer Hinds.  They all look calm and the sound of a Red Deer Stag roaring in the far distance is leaving them unmoved.


A strange start to autumn.  One now wonder if we will have a very sudden brief burst of autumn and move straight into winter…. or may be, still celebrating autumn at Christmas.  That may well be doubtful but who knows?

No matter what…. The “Old Man of Calke” who has experienced well over a 1000 winters is also taking a late autumn in his stride.  Branches may be scarce upon his broad well weathered trunk but they still sport many a healthy leaf……  I suspect he will shrug off the coming winter and see in yet another New Year and spring….


I do hope he stays safe …. which reminds me that we all need to….

Please Remember ….

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

9th November

(C) David Oakes 2021

Some Frost, a little mist but also some autumnal sunshine


Dawn over Allestree Lake, Derbyshire

There was just a light frost overnight, some autumnal mist but then a sun that soon corrected matters.

Autumn is here…. at least it feels like it. But in other respects it has still to arrive.  You do have to hunt out the yellows and browns of autumn from amongst the rich green that still graces our woods and countryside.


The mist did linger longer down over the Derwent valley, but up here on higher ground, under the Oak, it quickly cleared.

If I was surprised by anything, it was the lack of people out taking advantage of what was an autumn morning , one  I was very grateful to enjoy…. that quite, that peace added to the magic of the morning…



The forecast for the weekend is not so good.  It is going to get a little warmer, which sounds alright, but Gales and Heavy Rains are predicted…..   we wait to see.

Rain or shine

Please Remember ….

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

6th November

(C) David Oakes 2021

It is a bit more like Autumn…… just a bit


It was not a promising start…. then as if someone had waved a magic wand, the sun broke through. Certainly throughout the day some dark clouds rolled by making our world just a little dark, then blink it was sunny again.

At last the Beech trees have started to turn, staring with the younger ones.

Fly Agaric are having a bumper season and the berries on the Holly tell us that Christmas is on its way…

Not a bad morning for a walk…. and once again reminding us that we are so lucky to have Allestree Park and several other public parks, all so close


I hope the mention of Christmas didn’t scare you….

Please Remember ….

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

29th October

(C) David Oakes 2021

Little and Large…….


Little and Large leaves add a splash of colour to the woodland floor.  They are though the exceptions.  Looking round our Park the dominant colour is still green.  Following the recent rain and now another ‘warmish’ spell that green looks rather lush and certainly not like the autumnal colours we should be enjoying. 

Today is the 25th….. just two months till the 25th December and Christmas.



Autumn will arrive…. I just hope it will grace us with its colours for longer than just a brief visit.

Whatever the season, whatever the weather……

Please Remember ….

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

25th October

(C) David Oakes 2021


Not yet Autumn……..


We are now well past the mid point of October…..  but as yet Autumn has yet to bite.

Fly Agaric are starting the autumnal process, always a colourful corner of the woods.

Moving further into the woods,  there is very little to indicate that the seasonal change has started….green is still the dominate colour.


Dawn this morning didn’t fill us with confidence and the forecast was equally as vague. So the day did swing from blue sky and sunshine to threatening grey… warm sunshine to rain in the near blink of an eye.

Autumn has to arrive sometime, and soon I expect.  I just hope that it want be a fleeting visit.

Whatever the season, whatever the weather, enjoy the weekend ahead… and as always…

Please Remember ….

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

22nd October

(C) David Oakes 2021