Light and Shade……


Meadow Flowers and….


and Woodland Shade

The mid-summer sun has brought out the meadow flowers, lots of nectar for the Bees and insects….. but that same sunshine has sent me to the woods to enjoy a shady walk, shade much appreciated by Buster.


It is the time of year when the Bracken is perhaps at its best, as yet not to high but its bright green fronds spreading like a carpet…and yep there are some rabbits taking shelter under there. They are safe , Buster is far too hot to give chase.

Water adds another cooling element to the days walk.  Today along the overgrown towpath of the Cromford Canal…

Then its back to the open meadows and that summer smell of rich hay in the making…


25th June

(C) David Oakes 2017

Monday….. Back to work (again)

Blacksmiths Bench

The Blacksmiths Bench

Monday…..  so back to work again.  Rather glad it is not at the Blacksmiths bench, it would always have been HOT hard work but in our current mini heatwave it could be unbearable.

Enjoy your Monday….

19th June

(C) David Oakes 2017


Summer Time …….


At the moment the meadows are full of Clover or Buttercups a sure sign that summer is with us…hard to think that in a few days time it will be Mid-summer


Up in the woods the leaves still retain that bright spring green look, maybe the rains at the end of last month gave them a fresh lease on life….but it cannot be long now till that bright green turns to that much darker summer green…


Back in the garden those colours of summer are glowing be they big brash blooms or more dainty flower heads….

We have, over the past few days, been enjoying some record high temperatures….the skies have for the most part been cloudless blue.

Yet every so often we would get a bank of cloud appearing,  nothing odd in that, apart from each time that bank of cloud came, it had that well known appearance of a ‘mackerel sky’ and the threat of a new weather front….


Then just as quickly it would melt away to nothing….strange.

But then again that is the weather 🙂

18th June

(C) David Oakes 2017

A Moving Tribute……The Poppies come home


The Weeping Window…

In 2014 a spectacular display was unveiled at the Tower Of London.  It was a special tribute to those who lost their lives in the 1914-18 First World War. It was indeed a unique and moving tribute…one that the nation took very much to its heart.  Such was the emotion and interest that it created that is was decided that in the years between 2014 and 2018 that the memorial had to be shared with the Nation as a whole. A ‘Tour’ of major cities and significant locations was created.

What is special is that it is now on display in Derby…in fact you can say The Poppies have come home.  The concept was the  partnership of Artist Paul Cummins and Designer Tom Piper and the thousands of ceramic Poppies were designed and made in Derby


The Silk Mill, Derby

Cascading down from the bell tower of the Silk Mill, the poppies are draped around the base of the tower. The Poppies literally pop out at you, a little larger than life on thin stalks the provide a graceful display….a display that visitors can get  close to and feel personally very much part of the tribute…

(Poppies – The Weeping Window are on display till Sunday July 23rd and are part of a number of other 14-18 NOW events in Derby)

The Silk Mill itself is a also a significant part of Derby’s history. It was built between 1717 & 1722.  A revolutionary Silk Spinning Mill automatically creating Silk thread from raw Silk.  Located by the River Derwent it is now one of a number of Mills that are part of the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site.

The Silk Mill, like many mills of its age has had a checked history being adapted for use by  many trades.  It was partially destroyed by fire, rebuilt and pressed into vital service during the 1st WW….one part grinding Corn whilst another manufactured Medical supplies.  In more recent times it has been an Industrial Museum but even that has had regular misfortunes due to Local Council cuts to expenditure.

Maybe the Poppies are signalling better times for the Silk Mill as Lottery funding has been awarded for the museum to be revamped and reopened  (I think) in 2020.

DOI_2724_00064qq The Silk Mill and River Derwent, Derby 

(part of the World Heritage Site)

15th June

(C) David Oakes 2017