Better than Expected…

The dire weather forecast didn’t bother me this morning as I knew that the desk was the main venue for todays activities……but when the sun miraculously appeared it was a case of grasping the opportunity for a quick break and some exercise and fresh air…


Darley Abbey Park, Derby

So with no chance to head off anywhere exotic it was one of our local City Parks that was the chosen ‘instant’ venue.  The low sunshine adds contrast and the mild winter means that the colours are still rich and glow in the sun.  Bulbs are breaking through, buds are swelling on the trees, there is a little Blossom by the river and the Willow is now a rich yellow…a sure sign that it will soon be in spring leaf.

So 60 minutes of brisk walking with the dogs then it was back to the office….30 minutes later it was dark and raining once more…..just shows that you have to take your chances when you can….

We wait to see what tomorrow will bring…..

2nd February
(C) David Oakes 2016


First Crocus….



It is a start….our first Crocus of this winter.  You can tell it has been a mild winter (so far!)…look closely and you will spy a spider and several aphids all active and all providing food for our birds.

In fact there is little shortage of natural food for our wild birds this year.  Bird numbers have been good but like everything else in our natural world it is not running to the usual plan…….lets take Blackbirds as an example.  Normally our winter garden is home for a good number of both male and females, most over wintering and some remaining to make nests. This year they have vanished which is a shame as the Solanum bush is full of berry….a berry they seem to love to play with as well as eat.

Maybe if there is a cold snap they will appear….I hope  the Solanum berries will still be here for them.


2nd February

(C) David Oakes 2016