So Debby Passed us Bye…..


Not a bad weekend after all…Forecaster were full of a mixture of doom and excitement that rain was on the way.  So much bad weather that they named it Storm Debby.  Not sure that Debby reaped havoc anywhere but we did get some rain.

Saturday was just great, sunny, blue skies and a little cooler, but just as nice both in the garden and the woods…

 Fungi are starting to make there autumnal appearance.  Bracket Fungi is perhaps to be expected on this ancient Oak, still standing upright and strong despite insects and fungi attacking its trunk…for a tree over 1000 years old that aint bad!


Sunday arrived and so did the rain, but to be frank it was more an irritant than a nuisance.  Still no doubt the plants would be grateful for the splash they were able to capture…


The heatwave may be over but the patio and drive are still holding some of that heat, the rain just evaporated as soon as it fell.


Being realistic we do need some meaningful rain….forecasters say we have a wet week ahead…we will see

13th August

(C) David Oakes 2018


Silent Sunday….so off to Church


St. Josephs Shrine, Foxlow Edge, Errwood in the Goyt Valley on the Derbyshire/Cheshire border

A simple shrine set in some stunning moorland countryside on the Derbyshire and Cheshire county border. It was built on the once prestigious Errwood Estate by the owners of Errwood Hall in memory of a Miss (Sister) Delores who was once a treasured governess to the families children.  Errwood Hall is long gone and indeed much of the surrounds are now underwater having been drowned to create a Reservoir.

It all adds to a certain sadness when one explores the valleys and moorland edges in this unique part of the Peak District. But it also a place for ramblers to pause relax and ponder.

What I also find very sad is that today is what is called the “Glorious Twelve” the day when the guns come out to shoot Grouse on the Moors.  I see nothing glorious in organising parties (for not inconsiderable amounts of money) to shoot small birds that have been specially bred, released on the moors and then blasted out of the skies as they are ‘encouraged’ to fly by teams of drivers.  Moors that are no longer habitat rich due to sporting land management. They call it sport…. one has to wonder. Not such a Glorious Twelve.

12th August

(C) David Oakes 2018


Another Indicator of Change…..


Lords and Ladies

Lets give it the proper  name of Arum maculatum.  Just a little early to show in our garden but still a sign that Autumn is on the way (I know we still have some more summer left). This is the fruit stem which burst from a green leaf cover like a shroud. With the drought and heat the foliage has fallen away very quickly exposing just the stem. This stem is rather squat this season at about 4 inches berry to berry.

It is more usually found in hedgerows and dark woodland areas, a wild plant, but we have a number in shady spots in the garden, self seeded probably by birds, and we are rather proud of them….though visitors do wonder why we don’t dig them up.

Because of the shroud from which the stem emerges it has attracted many names over the centuries. Devils and Angels, Cuckoo-pint, Snakehead, Soldiers diddies, Jack in the Pulpit and a whole host of more indelicate names.

So advance warning that seasonal change has started…maybe the heat and drought is accelerating the move

10th August

(C) David Oakes 2018

A Change is on the Way…..perhaps welcomed by some.


Cool along the Woodland Trail

Despite no rain of any consequence I do think that recently, overnight, there has been some dew…certainly enough to help add some green back in to the countryside.


The morning sky had some spectacular clouds but like most days the blue returned, possibly an indicator that the change is on the way. Not all vegetation has been comfortable in the current dry spell, my favourite Silver Birch looks green but touch those leaves, they are paper dry and just drop.


So best make the most of the sunshine, a change they say is on the way, its just great to enjoy the freedom to walk without the waterproofs!

A little cooler but still nice to reach the cool of the  lakeside

_DOI9156qqqq9th September

(C) David Oakes 2018