Another Mixed Day. Sun, Dark Clouds, Warm then Cold…… But no Rain !


Like the Curates Egg, today has been good in parts…. and to be fare not that bad but could have been better.  Bluebells in the woods really are on their last legs now,  battling away in the ever increasing shade below the trees and struggling against the  ferns….



We have  easing regulations on Lockdown,  well in England that is.  Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are being more cautious…….  Perhaps they are wiser.

One of the Restrictions to be eased relates to  being able to play Golf!  Social Distancing measures, two players only and new Golf etiquette rules apply.

Our local Course though remains closed till the 25th. May

But no one thought to tell this little fellow.. well into the swing of things. …. Go for it Tiger!


New growth is now everywhere.  Cultivated or wild, tree or shrub, delicate or bold, just an abundance of  new life and  good things to come….

Yep, things are starting to brighten up….


Encouraging in tough times and lets not forget…

Please Remember ….

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

17th May

(C) David Oakes 2020


Promise not fulfilled……




Even the Meadow Gate  is on lockdown !

( or…Furlowed in the Furlong )

Saturday and the forecast was for more blue sky and temperatures reaching a possible 24c..  For the greater part of today it has been rather dull and uninspiring….. also been cold  with a north wind.

A shame we had no sunshine, the  meadow Buttercups are starting to spread and reach upwards for the  energy giving sun….  they still added their own sunshine.


We did get some  real sunshine.   Fleeting moments in an otherwise greyish day.  But as luck would have it, it caught up with us as in the woods….  long shadows, pools of bright sunshine….. and some added warmth, that brought out the best of the woodland smells. All  rather nice for our mornings exercise…


The woods were quiet, apart from the song of the Birds, so that vital Social Distancing wasn’t an issue……. However

Please Remember ….

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


16th May

(C) David Oakes 2020


Dull getting Darker…. Cold and very Windy. What a change


Overnight, as promised by the Met Office our weather changed. Yesterday it was shorts and T-shirt and searching for shade. Today its several layers and the winter fleece as essential clothing for this cold ‘snap’…well we hope it is only a snap.

So Sunday is far from a sun– day.  It started dull, got duller and now you have to say dark. Not only that… its cold.  The thermometer is at 6c but we also have a strong Arctic wind so wind-chill is a factor.

So on todays walk I have still tried to bring you some hints of spring brightness.  I guess it is a matter of contrast.  In todays dull weather the spring greens on the Beech (as on the one above) do appear to emit light.

I also spotted this bracket fungi in the shade.  I must have walked past this sulphur yellow fungi several times during the week and not been aware of it…


The winds though are not just a cutting cold but strong enough for damage.  A friend of mine used to describe winds at this time of the year as “God’s Pruners”….. just like a keen gardener, these winds find the weak leaves and branches and remove them.  The woodland floor is littered with the product of its labours….    seems a shame but there has to be a purpose behind it all.


The only other real colour I could find to brighten the days walk was this Rhododendron with Cow parsley intertwined…


So there we have it.  A very dull day after, what we had hoped, was the start of spring. Yep, the day just got darker…. I guess on such a day there is no need to tell folk to ‘Stay at Home’ in lockdown….. no one about.


Post Script

I was reminded of a fellow Dog Walker who also enjoyed this little piece of Derbyshire.  He past away last year at the age of 93.  He was known to a great many in the Park, we all called him the Colonel –  few knew his full name.  We all agreed he was a real gentleman. 

At the end of last year a seat was installed in memory of the Colonel.  It is though the message on the plaque that seem very relevant in todays world… it is a message he often expressed…..  appropriate I think.

www_1030360qqq I  think Colonel Hind would have endorsed my message of

Please Remember ….

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

10th May

(C) David Oakes 2020


Goodbye April Showers…….


Fire Boat, Bergen, Norway

We wave goodbye to April today…another month vanished in to our memories.  Despite all the lockdown restrictions the month has passed (well for us) just as fast as usual.

April is of course the month known in the seasonal rhyme as the month of Showers.

“April Showers bring forth May Flowers”

Not this year…..well not as far as showers are concerned.  April has proved to be both the driest but the warmest on record.

Though it does end with just a few rather heavy  showers.

Lets look forward to those May flowers…they will bring some extra joy into our lives to brighten these troubled days.

Please Remember ….

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

30th April

(C) David Oakes 2020



Beauty….. is in the eye of the Beholder !


The Blasted Oak

The crystal clear blue skies are acting as a great backdrop to familiar sights.  This old Oak, not as big as it once was, is the victim of a lightening strike a couple of decades ago. It struggled on for a few years then fungus took hold and it has been in decline ever since. But it is still standing a dramatically different tree scape on this hillside ridge.

So there I was taking this shot when a passer-by, shouted….“what an eyesore….. should be knocked down”.  I felt like questioning his judgement but thought it would be a waste of time.  He would never understand that Oak trees, even when dying,  continue to support an enormous amount of life, a food source, a vital part of the habitat.  Oak trees are reported to support more wildlife than any other tree….. it is said that an Oak grows for 300 year, lives for 300 years and then dies for 300 years… and we know some even older.  So I guess Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


The sun took a little time to clear the morning haze, but when it did you could feel that heat.  Just a little breeze in exposed places to cool you, but this could be summer not spring.  The reminders of springs progress are changing each day.  Lilac is now in flower, new growth on the Pine trees ( I call these pine candles), Bluebells are fading and Cherry Blossom still fights on….

By midday that sun was scorching (I guess 26c) so some shade by the Lake was very welcome.


High Noon, Allestree Lake

Tomorrow is the start of a decline in our weather, well that is what we are told!  With luck it will be back to a normal spring, at the worst winter!!!

Please Remember ….

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

25th April

(C) David Oakes 2020