Mix and none Match Weather…..


The River Derwent, Darley, Derbyshire

Looks tranquil enough but don’t be deceived .  After all the heavy rains of the past week, the river is running fast, about 3 ft to 4ft higher and very murky.  As there was much more rain up stream in the county, I expect it might rise a little further.  The weather has been a real mix-up for a few weeks now.  No day is stable, one minute blue skies and sunshine, the next torrential rain, gone are the mellow showers. So first stop today was to check on those water levels.  The weir that was built long ago to provide power for the Darley Mill complex was indeed running high but some way off flood levels.

The river has been a backdrop on many of our walks this past year.  Covid and lockdown restrictions have limited our options.  I do feel that we are very lucky in our location.  Whilst we are on the outskirts of the City of Derby, we do have a number of local green space options… Public Parks – for whom we have to be grateful for generous benefactors, donating these spaces to the City and its people. This of course happen many many years ago.  They were established for the “wellbeing” of the local people…..  a healthy idea, long before we invented the terms such as Wellbeing Space, Woodland Bathing, Green Gyms, etc.

These wide open spaces have been a real blessing in what has been restrictive times. So let me share some highlights of the locality from the past two days….  enjoyed whilst dodging the so called showers!

The Trees are now heavy with leaf.  But there is one that is still bare…. in fact many who pass by mistakenly think that it is dead.  But it is in fact a Mulberry Tree (some say Bush) of the famous “Round and Round the Mulberry Bush Rhyme”.


It will probably be another few weeks before it springs back into life, cover itself with leaves and in September produce its Mulberry fruit, which of course is not to be eaten.  I will bring you another picture once it decides to turn up for the summer.

There has been a conservation initiative this spring to encourage us    1. Not to mow our lawns as often.  2. Adopt a “No Mow May”.   All to encourage more wild flowers and thus help the insects and ultimately the birds.

I have to say it is not going down too well.  But take a look at the next picture.  The Cricket Pitch has been regularly mown as per usual…. but the meadow surrounds have been left to get on with things….. you can see the difference.


The above images are either in Allestree Park or Darley Park….. the later can most certainly be described as a urban oasis.  Surrounded by housing and industry. Darley Mill Complex (a UNESCO Site) at one end and a mini Tower Block at the other.

But still a tranquil green lung to enjoy…


We are indeed lucky and we do know it,  of course we still do need to show caution….

Please Remember ….

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

18th May

(C) David Oakes 2021

Those Showers…. do bring forth May Flowers


Wild Meadow Buttercups…better than any Garden

Buttercups are back……  Spring starts to move along at a pace.  As for those showers, well they do seem to work their magic. True a little sunshine also helps.

Here in the UK Lockdown Restrictions have been eased a little.  

So it is perhaps even more important to……

Please Remember ….

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

18th May

(C) David Oakes 2021


Moody Monday…. A Weather Change


The rain clouds rolled in.

We had just enjoyed a hot sunny visit to Helsinki… the weather couldn’t have been better.

Come the evening, as we left Helsinki and started to cross the Gulf of Finland, the clouds and rain rolled in. Not the best end to an otherwise great summer visit.  On the other hand you could say “great timing”.

An indeed it was a Monday!

Weather or mood, please….

Remember ….

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

17th May

(C) David Oakes 2021

Better than Predicted……..


A Sunday morning that was so much better than predicted.  Sunshine, fast moving clouds and until mid afternoon none of the rain that was forecast……  I am glad those forecasters got it wrong.

A real spring like morning on our walk.  Certainly bright down by the Lake.  Up in the woods, a different story. It is now rather dark.  The new leaf canopy casting its shadows that will now be with us till the late autumn.



The Bluebells that have depended upon the sunlight will now fade back into the ground where, with luck, they will multiply for the next spring.  Till they do their vanishing act they are still putting on a brave display…

Even when you were out in more open areas, the trees where now casting dark shadows…. but this is spring and the feeling and the look was of a perfect day…..


Now…. if that old country rhyme is correct, we now know we are going to get wet…..  but not as wet as we might well have done.  The Oak is well and truly in full leaf – whilst the Ash is still struggling.


The year continues to make its cyclical changes, real spring weather, which on a morning like this is also a tonic.

Please Remember ….

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

16th May

(C) David Oakes 2021

Silent Sunday……. Off to Church


This past year I have relied upon archive images for the Sunday series.  When thinking about what to bring you this Sunday my thoughts recalled, not the grandeur of huge Cathedrals, but two ‘tiny’ and remote Churches.

Above is St. Martins in Martindale, Cumbria. It split stone roof still keeps out the elements . Built in 1635, on a site of an even older building, St. Martins has served a small Hill Sheep Farming community across the centuries.  Although the Church and Martindale are less than 2 miles from major Lake District Tourist hot spots, the Dale remains quiet and surprisingly remote.  It remains a treat for those in the know and as a surprise for those who stumble across Martindale by accident..

Many, many miles away, in a different country, to the north and over the seas, is the other Church we will visit today.  It can be found on the Faroe Islands

Saksun, Faroe Islands

It is Saksun Church.  Located at the head of a Fjord which it overlooks, Saksun is located in the north west of the Faroes, in the community of Streymoy. Saksun Church, built in 1858, sports a traditional Grass Roof as opposed to spit stone of St. Martin’s. But Saksun does have similarities to St. Martins, apart from its remote location.  The Church also supports a small isolated Hill Sheep Farming Community.

Very different countryside, but a very similar remoteness… which gives both churches a rather special magical feel.

Peace and tranquillity, places to contemplate…

Please Remember ….

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

16th May

(C) David Oakes 2021