One Year on………


A year ago the River Derwent had burst its banks.  Flooding over a wide area of Derbyshire.  The above image was taken as the waters receded.  But respite was short lived and floods returned in December and lasted well into February.

Despite the heavy rains over the past few days, and indeed an extended wet period in October, the River Derwent is running past Darley Abbey in a sedate fashion, Autumn colours reflecting in the smooth waters…


The last few days have also seen some high winds,  as always in autumn it has stripped many trees of their leaves.  But in todays brief splash of early morning sunshine, like the river, all looks calm, mellow and autumnal.



Please Remember ….

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

19th November

(C) David Oakes 2020

Sunny Sunday….. well we were the lucky ones.


Much against the forecast…. and after very heavy overnight rain (the right time for rain) we had a fabulous cold but sunny morning.  Too good to waste so a walk at Darley Abbey Park and surrounds.   Apart from the Park itself and its Arboretum it also takes in Darley Mills, part of the River Derwent World Heritage Site.  So history and beauty all in one circular walk….. enjoy it with us whilst the sun shines….. 🙂



Can we go home for coffee now…….    my legs feel two inches shorter and they are only 4 inches long to start with


Please Remember ….

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

15th November

(C) David Oakes 2020

A Perfect Early Morning….


If we needed a reminder that the year was heading towards its close, then the low early morning sunshine did exactly that.  Long dark shadows, and a sun, where it fell, acted like searchlight…dazzling bright.  It certainly dazzled us as we walked through the village on the way to the woods.

Nor was it just the Graveyard by the village Church that was quiet.  The Village and then then Allestree Woods were also quiet.  Whilst it is nice to enjoy the peace and solitude it also seems so selfish not sharing the joys of the morning.  Thankfully a few of the familiar dogs had dragged their humans out for walkies….

The weather, from start to finish this year, has without doubt effected the seasonal changes in our trees and plants.  Spring seemed late to arrive, autumn was also slow to start and when it did the usual pattern of the autumn seemed different.  Silver Birch with their fragile leaves are normally, for us at least, the first to fall…. this season they have hung on till most of the Beech trees are bare.  The Oak have had a bumper crop of Acorns, normally slow to enter the change, they have started to turn in colour. Whatever the effect the weather has had on our climate, I can vouch for the fact that the Fly Agaric fungi has had, and still has, a successful autumn…


Again we were proved right to ‘get out early’.  Once again, by midday, the sun did its disappearing act… as we left the Lake, cloud cover was already heading our way.   So we headed home smug in the knowledge we had enjoyed the best of the day…


So whatever the weather tomorrow…..

Please Remember ….

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

13th November

(C) David Oakes 2020

A Dazzling Start…….


After days of grey damp starts this morning was bright and cheerful..  A bright Autumnal sun cleared the horizon so we headed off to Big Wood for an early quick walk…too good an opportunity to miss…

_DSC9559_00012qqq It was the turn now of Silver Birch leaves to glow on the woodland floor adding warmth to those areas of the wood, where the sun probably wouldn’t reach, now that its arc is so low in the sky……


It must have been early, once we were out of the woods, there were still no one about.  Makes a change, a change that left Buster rather puzzled….nobody to play with !


As for the day that started full of promise……  well, we had the best of the day.  The sun decided that playing ‘hide and seek’ would be fun……  it spent much more time hiding, just teasing us occasionally.

No matter the weather……  

Please Remember ….

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

12th November

(C) David Oakes 2020

Bonfire Night…. November 5th.


Autumn in the Gardens of Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

November the 5th, a date always associated in England with  Guy Fawkes and the failed Gunpowder Plot.

It is also know as Bonfire Night.  Let me say that although Fireworks have long been associated with the day, I have always rather associated it, from boyhood,  with the act of having a garden bonfire….  an autumnal clear out

Bonfires are now rather infradig, composting is far better for autumnal leaves and prunings.  November 5th still tiggers that moment in time, when my mind says….autumn is over.  OK., don’t shout, I know we have a few more days of autumns colours to enjoy before the darker winter days.  But symbolically, that’s autumn gone for this year.


As for Chatsworth in the autumn….  its a rather good place to enjoy the autumns colours in their fine mature woodlands.  But not this year for us.  True the House* and Gardens are still open, but visitor numbers limited and you have to pre-book.  Pre-booked, I just find that a turnoff, I prefer to seize the moment.  May be next autumn…. if life is more back to normal  🙂

* Lockdown has now been reintroduced to England.  So the House is not open for this period….   but the gardens remain open

Please Remember ….

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

5th November

(C) David Oakes 2020