Against this years Spring trend



Going against this springs curve, the Blue Ceanothus has actually flowered on time.  A very welcome sign in a year when the spring norm has gone out the window.  No doubt all will catch up in due course… I guess it just adds to the variety of habitat and weather watching.

Today, the 25th May, we have been told that May has been the wettest May on record….  and we still have 6 days of the month left.

A brief change in mood this afternoon…..  Yippeeee!!!


Blue skies and sunshine have indeed been rare across the whole month. So this afternoon we have enjoyed a brief respite from the rain. 

Whatever your weather

Please Remember ….

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

25th May

(C) David Oakes 2021


Spring Greens…….


Spring Greens……  Fresh new leaves, still transparent allowing them to glow in the sun.

Nearly the end of May…another month vanishing into time.  It has also been a strange month.  Lots of rain, some sunshine.  The big plus….. the cold has been replaced by warmer days.

The usual spring indicators have been erratic this year, some signs of spring were early, others yet to show. No doubt it will all correct itself given a little more time.

Strange times for all of us……

Please Remember ….

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

25th May

(C) David Oakes 2021

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

Another mixed day….

The mood swings of the weather are both quick and come in quick succession.  One minute blue skies and sunshine…. the next dark clouds bringing more rain.

Despite the unpredictability of the weather it still made for a refreshing lakeside walk.  

The Swans were busy finding a sheltered spot for a quick spruce up before bedtime..


The Forecast is not good for the rest of this week, so pleased we made the most of the late afternoon sunshine and showers..



Please Remember ….

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

12th May

(C) David Oakes 2021

April Showers……… ?


I know it is May, in fact nearly halfway through another month.  But April proved to be both the coldest and also the driest month of April’s on record.  So I guess it is no surprise that those expected April showers have arrived rather later then expected.

Late the showers maybe, but with dark clouds and shafts of bright sunshine and a liberal amounts of wetness in those showers….. it does seem much more Spring like. 


Add to that mix, the new growth that is starting to shroud the woods and you know we have now passed that point of no return.

The rhyme goes…..   April Showers – Bring forth May Flowers. 

So with this seasonal slip does it mean that it will now be June Flowers? 

Whatever weather and season you are enjoying….

Please Remember ….

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

11th May

(C) David Oakes 2021