Silent Sunday…..So Off to Church


The church of Saint John in the village of Horningsham, Wiltshire on the edge of the Longleat Estate and adjacent to the appropriately named Heavens Gate.

Saint John’s is the idyllic English Church, set on a hill overlooking a very peaceful rural scene that has changed little since the church was built in the 12th century. Like most churches of its age it has passed thru phases of renovation, modification, extension and rebuilding, the last rebuild being in 1843.

20th August

(C) David Oakes 2017


You can smell the change……


The Silver Birch Woods

Many of you will know that woodland is one of my favourite places to walk and relax, in all seasons and in all weathers.  You may even have guessed that Silver Birch is one of my favourite trees.  All though they are in tree terms, short lived, they provide immense pleasure with the silver bark, thin trunks that sway with the wind and small delicate leaves that rustle in the slightest breeze.

But they also have an aroma.  In the spring the aroma is light and citrusy which fades away over the summer….the come autumn a deeper more musky but sweet smell is created.  When that happens I know that autumn is not too far behind….. and I can detect that perfume  now as it mingles with the harsher aroma of the bracken.

DOI_3789bbb.jpg But that woodland canopy of leaves still holds strong, casting dark shadows with bright shafts of sunlight for contrast and to remind us the sun is still in the sky.

Acorns are forming on the Oak, this year they seem plentiful. So just so long as we get no strong winds we should have a bumper crop.


But a wind is what the Rosebay Willowherb is hoping for to distribute its seeds far and wide, the seed heads now sprouting white whiskers that may just get caught in a birds feathers and taken on a more substantial journey.


Down by the Lake it is a different world…all calm and summer like


Not bad for mid – August

19th August

(C) David Oakes 2017

More Signals…. that the Seasons are moving along


Cotoneaster Berries

Cotoneaster Berries are now rich red and draped with cobwebs in the garden..


Crab Apples

Whilst on the woodland edge the diminutive Crab Apples , about an inch wide, are swelling and starting to develop a ting of red.

Thankfully the garden is still providing hotspots of bright colour to let us know that summer is still with us…



But late afternoon sunshine on the Hedgerow hints that autumn will inevitably arrive as the sun catches and adds a rich glow to the seed heads of the Cow Parsley…

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15th August

(C) David Oakes 2017


Slowly the Seasons Change


Mid Day and the shadows are getting longer…

Like it or not, nor we cannot fight against it,  here in the Northern Hemisphere the sun is moving southwards once again….so each day is just that little bit shorter and the shadows noticeably longer.

Apart from the shadows the meadows grasses are turning yellow, and the meadow flowers turning to seed.

In the hedgerow the Elder Berries are swelling and starting to develop their distinctive dark rich colour in clusters along red stems….


The colourful Himalayan Balsam may be consider an invasive specie, but in these days when they report that Bee populations are declining due to lack of food, then for me the Balsam appears to be a life line.



The leaf canopy in the woods remains dense allowing only a shafts of sun to reach the woodland floor.  In the young Silver Birch coppice it provides a dappled carpet of brightness into what would otherwise be a dark space…


Nearly the middle of August and the year moves on in readiness of the next seasonal change.

14th August

(C) David Oakes  2017