Don’t Blink……. You might just miss iT !


Tuesday…..  an early morning mist soon lifted leaving another sunny Spring day.  Lockdown restrictions have been eased (just a little) and with it has come a welcome dose of blue sky and sunshine…. just like Spring should be.

Since March 2020 our two local Parks have been a welcome lifeline.  Open spaces, a varied habitat that changes with the seasons, somewhere Buster and I could walk in relative Covid safety.  Increasingly over the past few months more and more folk are getting out and enjoying these spaces, and they do need to.  Sadly there is a minority, a minority that keeps getting larger, that flaunt the rules with not a care for others.

So with that in mind and also aware that by the end of the week our Spring will have returned to winter, we headed off early.  It was a selfish desire to get the Park, mainly for ourselves, as it does seem that both the good weather and the easing of the rules, brings out ‘lots’ or people – too many for my comfort.

It also gives me a excuse to take you on a two day tour of both Parks as Spring arrives.  Each Park has its own personality.  Allestree is more wild and woodland, though it does have a large Lake.  Darley Park is more open in its style, it also has the River Derwent flowing through.  It also has an Old Arboretum from the days when this Park was a part of a large private estate.

So we will start in Allestree.  Beech, Oak and Silver Birch are the stars…


The open spaces of Darley lend themselves to Daffodils.  A temporary show admittedly, but just as welcome after a dark winter.  Wild Garlic and its pungent aroma covers much of the river bank.  Today the Bird song is strident, a chorus of spring calls.  The wide open space does encourage the old Oaks to be able to spread as Oaks should do.

A rather perfect morning…even Buster was a little reluctant to head for home… even though breakfast was waiting


With luck tomorrow will be as nice…….   Now, don’t blink or you might just miss Spring!  Weather can and so often is very fickle

No matter what….

Please Remember to ….

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

30th March

(C) David Oakes 2021

The sun shines ….. and the high winds have dropped!


The Weeping Willow by the Lake, weeps.  The sunshine’s and the bitterly cold easterly winds have dropped. Sadly those winds have caused some damage.  For me one of my ‘iconic’ trees, a Silver Birch, one I pass just about everyday is down.  It was distinctive, I have photographed it in every kind of weather and every season… and it has graced these pages on many occasion.  Daft to be attached to a tree and then just a humble Silver Birch…. but for me it was very special…


The positive is that part is still standing, different but I guess still special.

It is of course spring  and at this time of year is when trees get their summer coats of new leaves.  It adds weight to the tree and those leafy heads act like sails in the wind, so I guess they become more vulnerable.  Last week I shared the Country Rhyme about the race between the Oak and Ash. The Oak won.

There are also a good number of Mature Beech trees in our woods and surrounds.  But as you can see compared with its neighbouring Oak this giant Beech has a long way to go to welcome in spring…


The Beech may well have no leaves but it can still show off its majestic skeleton…


Bluebells are still the current woodland stars….  no woodland walk would be complete without enjoying another day in their short lives.  So here is todays Bluebell fix!


As the woods get darker, the Bluebell start to die back and fade…best enjoy them whilst we can.

Spring does move forward with increasing pace.  It will soon be May.  May is the season for Rhododendron and Azealia. But is a front runner to the Rhododendron season is one bush that has burst into bloom with its big blousy flower heads…


Spring doesn’t have a lockdown and move on at a pace…enjoy

Please Remember ….

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

22nd April

(C) David Oakes 2020



Spring continues……. It’s Bluebell Time


Bluebells in the very aptly named Spring Wood on the Derbyshire Leicestershire border.

Bluebells are only with us for a short spell each spring, once the tree canopy of leaves darkens the woodland floor, they will retreat till next spring…   but whilst they are here the do cast their spell of spring magic  🙂

Please Remember ….

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

20th April

(C) David Oakes 2020

Some Proper Spring Weather……


Sunshine and Showers and a much cooler climate, weather that is much more like the Spring weather we expect.

Yesterday morning’s woodland walk was fresh and stimulating. New growth everywhere, the bright greens and yellows of new leaves and of course lots of Bluebells. I hesitate to say it has been a bumper year for these iconic woodland flowers, but it might well be.  I make no apology for featuring these drifts of Blue again…after all we cannot enjoy them for long, in fact many are now retracting and falling back to disappear for another year.

26th April

(C) David Oakes 2019

It was a Record Breaker…….


Blossom Time…. and other Spring First’s

It was a Record Breaker….it is true.  Easter Weekend is actually a 4 day of national holiday and this Easter it has been all blue skies and sunshine…. sunshine that has raised temperatures to produce record high temperatures in all regions of the UK.  OK it’s been hot,t what is more surprising is that we have a standing joke…”that is always rains on public holidays” …. well not this year.

2019 has been a year where the seasonal rule book didn’t apply. Overall its been dry, mild and sunny, true we did have the occasional frost, the high winds, and some odd days of rain, but for the most part its just been rather nice and very different. Nature has been mixed up with most plants being early whilst others a little later.

One early bloom is this Rhododendron, our first to burst into glorious colour…


We exercised discretion this holiday.  We knew the roads and hot spots would be overcrowded so we just enjoyed our local area. Walking by the River, through the Parks, into the Woodlands packed with Bluebells, found Wild Garlic about to flower, sat by the Lake, watched Artist out sketching, enjoyed our Garden where a pair of Blackbirds were busy taking turns feeding young on a nest so well hidden it remains a secret.

It was a holiday weekend just right to take your time in doing nothing, pausing to just sit and stare before continuing to potter along doing nothing in particular….made a change just to relax and the warm sunshine reflecting on the wonders of Spring…


23rd April

(C) David Oakes 2019