A Cold Day of Contrasts…


Youlgreave, Derbyshire..

It was cold…very cold and even the morning sun did little to warm the day…the positive being that the arctic wind  has gone (for now).

Youlgreave village sits on top of a limestone ridge in the Derbyshire White Peak District. Fortunately for the village inhabitants sitting on top  hill make sure that they catch the best of the sunshine from dawn thru to dusk…..a big benefit on such a cold day.




Below the village flows the crystal clear waters of the River Bradford, a river crossed in many places by old ‘packhorse bridges’ a reminder that this was once in the heart of the Lead Mining part of the county.


To reach here the Bradford has to flow through a narrow Limestone Dale.

On a December day Bradford Dale is rather dark and forbidding, tall trees cover the slopes leading down to the river preventing all but the occasional shaft of sunshine to reach the river.


Whilst the course of the River Bradford still runs true to its original course it has over the centuries been manipulated by man. Dams have been created and for many years used as fish ponds, it was an added joy on summer days to watch the Brown Trout darting for cover….sadly the Fishing Syndicate seems to have lost interest and the Bradford could do with some love and attention.

But despite that it is still a magical Dale…. even as now on a cold winters day


Now just to illustrate the dramatic range of contrast, from shadows to sunlight, I think this image may well capture that mood for you.  Believe it or not there is a footbridge hiding at the bottom of this picture…


It was cold, it was sunny in places, it was peaceful and for the start of winter (according to the Met Office) it was just another bonus day!

2nd December

(C) David Oakes 2017



Gradually Autumn merges into Winter….


Much of our woodland is now bare but still glowing in the current spell of sunshine.

Today of course is the first official day of Winter…well meteorologically speaking. One thing is for sure the daylight hours are getting shorter.

 But parts of our woodlands are reluctant to accept that Autumn has gone…in particular the Oak woodlands are still dressed with leaves, leaves that catch the last of the sunshine to glow with a rich golden brown glow…


Long term followers of the blog will know that we do keep a fond and watchful eye on one particular old Oak tree.  Over 1200 years old and whilst certainly now only a very broad trunk it still mages to sprout a good head of leaves during the summer.  This autumn it still looks healthy and now as winter approaches we hope it has the strength to see another year ahead…


There is that thorny old question…”where do Spiders go over the Winter”….well this particular spider doesn’t seem to be wanting to go anywhere…


So winter arrives and if only it could continue till the spring like the past few days there would be no complaints.

So for the moment the Oak remains supreme…

1st December

(C) David Oakes 2017

Fog……OK it lifted just a Tad

the-fog-liftedMidday at Allestree Lake

We still have swirling fog to dampen our January days.  It did lift just a little at midday but soon descended again.

What does give me some concern is that the fogs we have been ‘enjoying’ this year, seem darker and dirties….much more reminiscent of the days of industrial pollution and prior to smokeless zones. There is a yellowish ting and a taste that leaves a metallic taste in the mouth.

doi_1630_00001bbThe forecast is for more of the same tomorrow……no comment!

24th January

(C) David Oakes 2017