After the rains…more colour



Flag Iris….by the Lake

Another raft of colour is hitting the garden….even yesterdays heavy rains did little to dampen them….even our first Rose bud survived though it does show some signs of rain and wind damage…Aquilegia, Hawthorn and Iris make a great display


The woodland is now very much darker, gone are the carpets of Bluebells, now the Ferns and Bracken are starting to push their way to the light….it is amazing just how quickly they grow, every day you can see a big change…

19th May

(C) David Oakes 2017

A Bright Start……after the rains


A May Dawn over Allestree Lake, Derbyshire

Calm and sunny over the Lake this morning….it makes a welcome change from the past few days of rain.  Yesterday we didn’t think it would ever stop but overnight we have had a miraculous change for the better.  We better not get complacent as we are told the rain is returning tomorrow.

Looking down over part of the woodland the horizon is still shrouded with an early morning mist.   Hawthorn Blossom seems to have survived the heavy rain and is still imparting its distinctive spring smell mixing beautifully with the equally distinctive fresh scents of spring.


18th May

(C) David Oakes 2017

Making the Best Of It!……


Silver Birch on Stanton Moor, Derbyshire

Sunday we woke to rain.  That was not a surprise as that was the forecast. What was the surprise that after we had showered and dressed the sun had come out….and despite the forecaster gloom it remained with us for the rest of Sunday. So we needed no excuse to make the best of the day.

We love the moors for their open views but we also love the woodlands  So our destination was to be Stanton Moor where we could enjoy the best of both worlds.

Earl Grey’s Reform Tower is nearly hidden at this time of year, the rich gritstone of its construction contrasting with fresh new Birch leaves in the spring greens….


Open vista or the woodland with their long shadows….doesn’t matter which as it is the Silver Birch that dominates the views…



There does seem to be an extra bonus as a result of this years very mild winter, which together with February rains, has certainly encouraged the Bilberry plants to spread. Judging by the red buds nestling between the leaves I reckon we may get a bumper harvest.  They enjoy the open moors but also love to carpet the new Silver Birch spinneys…


Stanton Moors in any season are a favourite place for walkers, yet never seem crowded…always space to be alone to just wander at your own pace….


But like much of Derbyshire’s countryside todays tranquillity… hides a history of industrial activity.  On these moors Stone quarrying was the most significant industry.  Old quarries can be found adding to the moors character…


Not sure how long our luck with this run of good weather will be….but like I said we are “Making the Best of It!”


15th May

(C) David Oakes 2017

A Change in the Weather….but Spring is now well established


Spring sunshine in Big Wood, Allestree

After an early yet tentative start Spring, as is usually the case, is suddenly upon us.  Early morning Spring sunshine can still find its way through gaps in the ever thickening woodland canopy casting a warming glow and long shadows.

So far it has been a dry spring….that is about to change as heavy rain is forecast.  I guess that will just encourage an even lusher flood of vegetation to herald in the summer.

Bluebells a favourite harbinger of Spring may well have a short revival with the rains, even so their best display are now sadly but inevitably over.

So here is one last image of the 2017 Bluebell season…

Bluebells Derbyshire Bluebells

As for the promised rains…we will wait and see….

13th May

(C) David Oakes 2017

Bits and Bobs….Here and There….


The Spring bulbs are now dying back to rest till next year.  It is that in between period where the more colour packed flowers of late Spring have yet to make their appearance.  The greens are loosing the fresh green shine and the woods are getting darker as the leaf cover thickens.


There are still one or two spots in our Big Wood where the Bluebells still flourish but even they are now past their best.


Elsewhere in the woods, around the Lake and in the garden there are signs of new life.  Canada Geese Goslings are now in the extended family groups. Ferns, Rushes Wigelia, Camassia Pin Head Daisies, Euphorbia, Marsh Marigolds, and even the humble Cow Parsley are saying hello and the Ceonathus is just a mass of Blue….but the humble Dandelion is now just seed


The evenings are now extending and it is fun to be out and about, maybe fishing or just lazing waiting for dusk to fall….


The end to a perfect day……


11th May

(C) David Oakes 2017