Thoughtful Thursday…. To Infinity and Beyond


Yesterday evening I caught a glimpse of stars in our night sky.  Magical twinkles from afar…. yes, infinity and beyond.  It was a rare event, over the past week heavy cloud cover had removed any opportunity to see Natures Free Show.

It also triggered a memory of September 2 years ago.  Our travels had taken us to Norway, itself a fabulous trip. It was though, the very special treat of experiencing a display of  the Northern Lights that left the biggest impression.

  Dancing, swirling, constantly moving coloured waves of light. The display lasted for over 2 hours, then just vanished. I reckon,  those who live in those parts of this world where the Aurora Borealis regularly occur, have difficulty trying to describe this phenomena of Nature…. I find it next to impossible to describe.

It is though an experience, an experience that I will never ever forget…. and so very very different from our views of the Milk Way.

I mentioned this was September 2 years ago.  A fun packed, exciting and wonderful trip with friends.  Our only thought to the future was ‘where too next’.  Little did we expect what lay ahead.  Covid, hardship for many and a World that seemed to close down.  For many the issues of the past two years are starting to recede and some form of normal is returning.  But not for all and the dangers are still with us.

All this makes for me, this special moment in Norway, those Northern Lights, all the more precious. It was a privilege and something to cherish in my personal memory bank.

It also serves as a reminder that nothing is ever permanent, life like the Northern Lights is for ever changing.  Some change we can control, but I guess the majority of change is out of our hands.

So perhaps it is even more important to….

Remember ….

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

16th September

(C) David Oakes 2021

Twice a Day……..

Tides Out

Low Tide, Skippool Creek, Wyre Estuary, Lancashire

It one of those miracles of nature.  Twice everyday, the tide fills these creeks with water, then twice a day it empties them back into the sea. Depending on the phase of the moon the high and low water marks will reach their maximum and minimum limits….. these are known as Spring Tides (nothing to do with the seasons just the pull of gravity from the moon).

Low tide is not welcomed by sailors but very welcome for Waders, Ducks and Geese who feed on the abundant food available on the mud flats beyond the creek.  It is a world that is for ever changing at natures whim. At low tide it looks rough and ready. Then at high tide, with water lapping onto the edges of the surrounding marshes, its idyllic.

This constant changing of tides, that move to their own time clock, are different everyday which ensure that change is the only constant.

On a more flippant note, it always reminds me of an old Advertising Campaign by a major soap powder company.  They had a brand name “TIDE”……   there was a slogan used on posters, adverts and TV, it was…

”  Tides in….   Dirt’s Out “

Being a youngster at the time I also added  to myself ” Tides out and Dirt’s In “

Daft I know but just one of those slogans that sticks in the memory box.

Whatever you are thinking today……

Please Remember ….

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

14th September

(C) David Oakes 2021

Flippant Friday…. Fantasy taken to an Extreme

I am beginning to think that our Parks Department have been reading too many J.R.R Tolkien Novels.  They must be haunted with images of trees taking to flight on dark nights and wandering on the loose… ala Hobbit and Lord of the Ring.

As a precaution they have imprisoned one or two of the major Oak Trees with metal fencing….. obviously these are the ring leaders.  But if you hear a heavy tread in the night… beware

Whatever you are and whatever your fantasy…

Please Remember ….

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

3rd September

(C) David Oakes 2021

Wordless Wednesday…a new month ( and a new Season ? )


Location:-  Cockerham Sands, Morecambe Bay, Lancashire

The first day of a new month.  September, the month that the Meteorological Office define, for us in the northern hemisphere, as the start of autumn.  Not sure I agree with them, their desire to break a year down into 4 equal segments ignores natures own cycle.

That said, I do find that the light from now on changes, softer, surprisingly warmer, particularly in the evenings and if you get the opportunity to be by the west coast… then a sunset glow could be your reward.

One location never seems to disappoint, is Cockerham Sands.  At the mouth of the River Lune, marked by the squat Lune Light, which marks where the Lune enters the expanse of Morecambe Bay.  You also get a double bonus, for as the tide rushes in, and it does come in fast, in rush waders and wildfowl that have been feeding on the mud flats. 

Rather a lot of words for Wordless Wednesday, but I thought it worth it.  Well it is one of my Favourite Places

The year may be moving along at a pace but we still need to….

Remember ….

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

1st September

(C) David Oakes 2021

A Feast of White……


In past years, at about this time, I have been able to take you on a mini tour of the National Hydrangea Collection here at Darley Park Gardens, Derby.  Usually colour packed with all shade of Blues and Pinks, from fine tints to bold statements of rich colour.

The past three years have been rather tough for the Hydrangea’s.  2019 it had been a hard winter followed by drought and heatwave.  2020 we know that CV19 hit us.  This meant that the care these plants needed across early spring and into the summer was not available from the team of volunteers that manage the collection.  To make the situation worse there was another drought and one thing hydrangea’s need is water, with no one to water they suffered, yet still managed to put on a reasonably colourful display….. but some plants succumbed  and needed to be replaced.

So with hope the volunteers looked forward to this year being better.  All their hard work seemed to be working till we had a very late hard Frost, (the only real frost of the year).  Many new flower heads that were forming were just lost. Dead heads were removed, some recovered some still struggle.

The result is that this year there is not the variety of rich colour, true there are some hot spots but the prevailing colour is White.  White varieties seemed to have handled the tough times much better….it is also true that some of these ‘white’ blooms will start to show subtle tints of green and pink but still retain a white glow.

Despite all the trauma, the hard work of the volunteers seems to have paid off. True there are many bare patches of ground but also signs that new plantings, plantings to secure the future of this lasting important National Hydrangea Collection…..  but as always it does very much depend upon the vagaries’ of the weather and some hard work.

Fingers crossed it all works out well. But whatever the future …..

Please Remember ….

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

17th August

(C) David Oakes 2021