September Ends….. still no autumn but the change has to come soon


Yesterday, 29th September was a day you could wish for.  We  had managed to book tickets to visit Calke Abbey a Parkland.  Like other National Trust Properties, CV19 means you have to book in advance.  Trouble is you do have to predict in advance what the weather will do (no booking allowed on the day!).  So, we were lucky.

The woods are always a great place for a walk.  Despite it being the end of September there was little indications that autumn is knocking at the door…  It will come but not for a week or so yet.

The Red Deer Hinds were relaxed, feasting on the Acorns. The Red Stags were in hiding, soon their testosterone levels will rise and peace in the woods shattered….

Till then the Hines are making the most of a bumper crop of Acorns.  The ground is literaly littered with Acorns under the Veteran Oak’s.


The Beech is the other dominant tree in these woods.  Still rich green and with the low sun, quite spring like on the trails….


Like many Trust properties, they seem to feel the need to dress up these natural spaces with sculptures and other so called ‘Art Works’.  I can understand temporary exhibitions, indeed I rather like them, they make a change…. but as permanent fixtures I am none too sure.  I know the tree below is well past its “sell by date”….  and I like the silhouette it casts in all weathers…. but this adornment seems more than a little out of place.


We have passed this tree for many years; it has always been a skeleton Each winter it loose just a little more of its structure.  It has though become like an old friend.  Even the sapling tree on top thrives.

As the end of the afternoon approached those blue skies started to vanish. The forecast is for some bad weather ahead.  The evening sunshine did make the Coach House and Stable block glow…


but the clouds told the story of change….


Nor did those clouds tell any lies…  today, the last day of September and it’s raining.  We cannot complain as we do need the rain and today, we are certainly getting it !


Please Remember ….

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

30th September

(C) David Oakes 2020

Wordless Wednesday…… Another Favourite Place


Location: –  Lune Light, Morecambe Bay from Cockerham Sands, Lancashire

It may well be Wordless Wednesday…… But we cannot let the passing of September go without some comment.  Indeed, it is a positive comment as September,  for the most part,  has been more like summer than summer itself.  You could say that summer was topped and tailed by a great Spring and now a great September.  

September is also the time that I associate with sunsets.  They suddenly seem much more intense an intensity which I think is helped by the arrival of colder evenings.  

As for my favourite places…..  The Lune Light, used to mark the entry into the River Lune from the wide expanse of Morecambe Bay, seen here from Cockerham Sands, it just has to be near the top of my list. 

Where ever you are……

Please Remember ….

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

30th September

(C) David Oakes 2020

A Near Perfect Start


After what has seemed like weeks of storms, rain and at the best mediocre days with flashes of sunshine, this morning, the 1st of September, started rather well.  Gin clear blue sky, no wind  and a sun that was as warm as any summers day.

True, there was a little mist showing in the valley bottom but that soon cleared. 


There are though signs that year has moved on and we are heading towards autumn.  The shadows are longer and the low sun, penetrating but also creating harsh shadows. 


A perfect start to the month and the perfect morning for a walk through one of our local Parks and through a little of Derby’s Industrial Heritage.  The Park is Darley Park.  It runs on two sides of the River Derwent.  One side is very much based upon an old arboretum.  The opposite side is more like the usual ‘civic’ rather plain parks, with playing fields.  All in all it makes a rather pleasant circular walk, punctuated with little snippets of Derby’s past, from historic bridges to Heritage Status Mills, workers cottages, a village of now much sort after cottages.  Despite being less than a mile from the City Centre…..lots of fresh air.  You are welcome to join us……


Late afternoon and some clouds starting to bubble up.  Somehow I don’t think this weather will last to see tomorrow, let alone the rest of the week….but best not to complain, just enjoy today.


Please Remember ….

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

1st September

(C) David Oakes 2020

Sunny Start to September……


The first week of September has given us some fabulous sunny mornings… perfect for Golf lovers to get their rounds in whilst its quiet.

In the woods the shadows are longer as the sun sinks lower in its axis.  The canopy is also starting to thin allowing this autumnal sun to reach those parts that have been so shady across the summer.


Berries are ripening, seeds are setting, petals dropping yet still Summer teases us.

The truth that the seasons are on the move comes towards the end of the day when those longer shadows and a bright evening sun, give the garden an ‘evening look’ long before the sun vanishes for the day….   and the temperatures make a marked drop


Yep…not a bad start to September, OK we did get the odd shower but perhaps that was much needed.

We should of course  think of those caught in the dreadful and very tragic weather conditions that have struck the Bahamas.  Hurricane Dorian now continues northwards up the coast of North America reeking even more destruction.  A reminder that none of us are in control of our own destinies.

7th September

(C) David Oakes 2019

A Reluctant “Goodbye” to September…….


Burbage Edge looking to Higger Tor, Derbyshire

The last day of September…and what a great month it has turned out to be.  A month of the best and most consistent weather and a marked contrast to the rest of the summers weather. Lots of sunshine and very dry.

So to make the most of this late summer bonus we headed of to the moors.  The low bright sunshine cast long shadows which added to the contrast in colours on the moor, colours very different from a few weeks ago.  The Heather has lost its colour, the flower heads now turned to seed and foliage turning dark brown, the Bracken has dried and in the warm sun has now turned a rich copper brown which in turn contrast to the greys of the Gritstone rocks that make up the geology of this part of the moor and rocky edge.

Expansive views are the reward for walking the edge, views that take in Carl Wark an Iron age camp on top of a promontory in the near foreground, Higger Tor and Fiddlers Elbow beyond and then to the wider Pennines along the far horizon…..

Wild as these moors are they were like most of Derbyshire, they were once scenes of much and varied industrial activity taking advantage of the counties natural resources…in this case the Gritstone Rock. last week I posted an image of Padley Gorge that featured an abandoned Millstone (


I tried to explain to comments made why it was there, where did it come to be there.  Well take a look at the rock to the right of this image.  Spot the centre hole and the rough circle partly shaped into a wheel.  The natural incline of the geology along the edge made for easy selection of suitable rocks which were then carved out in-situ.  Many were abandoned when the French invented a new style of mill grinding wheel.  But Mill wheels were not the only use to which the stone was used and traces of other activity can be found.

Farm Water Troughs were also hewn by hand from large pieces of Gritstone.  But just imagine the frustration for these workmen that after many long arduous hours of work the stone splits….I guess no pay that week for the stonemasons…

But for us the day was soon over and it was down off the moor through some sparse woodland in yet another of natures wonderful rock gardens…..


30th September

(C) David Oakes 2015