A Real signal that Spring is on the Way

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Wood Anemone….

Early morning Spring sunshine is starting to open the buds of the Wood Anemone. Even once they start to flower, they keep the buds shut until the sun catches them, then slowly unfurl their outer white leaves to reveal the delicate golden centre.  At the end of the day the close up tight again. 

Sadly they are only short lived.  But for a short while they grace the edges of our woodland paths..

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It will not be long now before the Bluebells are covering the woodland floor with a carpet of Blue.  Wood Anemone, like Bluebells, rely upon this brief spell of early spring, when the life giving sun can reach the woodland floor.  Once the Tree canopy, of new leaves, casts its dark shadow over everything, they will fade away till next Spring.

Please Remember to ….

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

6th April

(C) David Oakes 2021

A Perfect Early Morning….

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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…

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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…

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So whatever the weather tomorrow…..

Please Remember ….

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

13th November

(C) David Oakes 2020

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

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

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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…

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

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But we will let the autumn colours complete our walk…

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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…

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As always in these troubled times…

Please Remember ….

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

6th November

(C) David Oakes 2020

Life is a Beech…….

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When the alarm triggered this morning, I took one look out the window. I was greeted by very dark clouds and once again very heavy rain….. and for a moment or two, I thought that the best place would be to go back to bed and pull up the duvet.

Rather glad that I didn’t, for much against the forecast and my expectations, the sun came out and produced a fantastic morning…for November 2nd it was extra special….. so Big Wood here we come.

It was rather magical. Take some golden coloured Beech leaves, add some Sweet Chestnut leaves for good measure, plus a carpet of dry Bracken and you have a fantastic golden autumnal palette.

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The morning sunshine vanished…… they say that it will return towards the end of the week. A great start to the new week and the new month.

With a new National Lockdown now confirmed, I do hope that more sunny weather will arrive to help us weather the CV storm.

Please Remember ….

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

2nd November

(C) David Oakes 2020

With an EXTRA Hour today….it was no time to hide indoors, not when the sunshines

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So we gained an hour last night as the clocks stood still.  The big surprise this morning, was that the sun was shining and we enjoyed lovely blue skies…. not what was forecast, after yesterday’s monsoons it was an even bigger surprise.  It was so bright that even Buster was anxious not to waste a moment… that stare whilst we enjoyed our breakfast did work its magic, so off we went

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The season are moving along and that sun, although bright, is now a good deal lower, long shadows and bright highlights…… all add to the autumnal feeling in our woods, after yesterday’s rains this morning’s warmth has brought out those familiar woodland aromas.

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Now what will the weather gods deliver for us tomorrow?   We wait to see… whilst Buster now content, dreams about the next walkies

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Please Remember ….

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

25th October

(C) David Oakes 2020