March….. sprints to a mixed finish….


A cloudy and cold start to the last day of March…then the sun broke through the cloud cover and the temperatures started to rise….


Blossom is appearing, but sadly, some Blossom, that perhaps were fooled into bursting forth in last weeks mini heatwave, have suffered in the arctic winds and yesterdays rain. The leaves are fine but that vistal blossom has suffered….


The woods are of course still bare, the low March light is harsh, the wintery look to the woodland floor remains…. but that should soon change.

 The Marsh Marigolds are staring to flower so that is a hopeful sign that spring is trying its best to chase off the remnants of winter…

There is now a hint of a green tinge to the tops of the trees, so over the next couple of weeks we should see some dramatic changes to our landscape…


The Lake did glow in the early morning light, in this little corner new life is appearing….


….. new life, not just in the reeds and marginal plants.  Looking carefully into what at first appears a muddy corner of the Lake…. and you will find Frogspawn.  So the cycle of life continues…..


All there is to do now is to ponder as to just what April has in store for the World.

So as we wait…..

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

31st March

(C) David Oakes 2020

A Gift…….


Allestree Lake, Derbyshire

I heard various folk on the radio describing their approach to our periods of allowed exercise.  The one that most resonated with me was hearing it described as a Gift.

Indeed it is a gift and a gift we may well not be allowed for much longer.  So each day out in the fresh air with Buster, stretching out our legs is a real bonus.

Today it was cold…. very cold.  A wind straight from the Arctic made it feel much colder than any other day this year. For the first day of British Sumer Time you had to have a chuckle.

It was though still a privilege to wander round the Lake and through the woods.  It also still looks very much like winter, bare stark trees only a few buds swelling. As for that wind…well it did a great job sweeping clean the woodland floor. If we are to be subject to more restrictions then it makes each of these days even more precious….



Still strange to feel so alone

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

29th March

(C) David Oakes 2020



I find it rather Ironic…….


St. Edmunds Church, Allestree

Some more Spring cheer this morning as I past the local church…. I do find it rather ironic, that after such a wet hard autumn and winter we now  have some warm sunny spring weather but also restricted access to the countryside.

Best not complain as I am allowed out at the moment for exercise, much to the relief of Buster.   Even so it does take some getting used to.  Everywhere is so quiet, a few folk out exercising, all keeping more than the required safe distance….. still near enough to shout a passing cheerful greeting, something we normally take for granted, but in this current setting now seems a very valuable touch of friendship and normality.

With next to no one about I took a detour through the old village.  Spring flowers and shrubs are coming into full colour and the Magnolia buds are now starting to burst

Once we reached the Park we could stretch our pace out a bit to fully enjoy not just the fresh air but also the that feeling of freedom that only open spaces can give.  This open space is very near the City, just on the outskirts, yet with so few folk about you could well have been miles away in the Peak District.


Even so it is strange to view a familiar local area bereft of people….


This spell of fantastic Spring weather, we are told, will last for possibly 2 more days….then its a return for awhile to wet wintery weather

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

25th March

(C) David Oakes 2020

The weather is near perfect for Spring ….. and we cannot take full advantage of it


An empty bench surround by daffodils in our local Park rather says it all.  Stay at home is the message with the comment that we should, if we can, get some exercise in the fresh air, but keep your distance.  So Buster and I headed off this morning for a leg stretching walk. It wasn’t as early as yesterday starts so I did expect to see some folk out and about.

There were in fact very few….. but all taking the precaution of keeping a that very important good distance from each other – a sociable wave and shouted greeting was given and welcomed by all.

Even so there were times when I did think we were the only ones about, the riverside path to town was deserted as was the main drive down into the park…  little traffic noise only bird song.

It is of course the right action to take in the current unsettling times. Sadly at a time when we were just poised to take advantage of some good Spring weather, after what has been a dreadfully wet winter.  Much of the new spring growth will pass us bye….

As I was walking alongside the River Derwent,  now flowing at a leisurely pace,  I was reminded that many folk will still be battling the aftermath of floods.  Repair, rebuilding and maybe living in temporary accommodation…. and now having to tackle another real challenge, that of self isolation. A very traumatic situation now made significantly worse.

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

23rd March

(C) David Oakes 2020