Moody Monday…Is this an April Fool Prank?


Well here we are, the last day of April……they have always said that April is the month of showers…..well today is like most days this month, it is raining and raining heavy.  Gales are also forecast so please excuse me if I think someone is playing a belated April Fools prank upon us.

I am just hoping that the 3 days of ‘real’ Spring we revelled in the middle of the month will be replicated, but on a more regular basis during May.

I also hope that we have some colourful floral joy to come….after all what is it they say,

“April Showers will bring forth May Flowers”

30th April

(C) David Oakes 2018


Moody Monday….A Tough Life Being a Roman Soldier


Hardknott Roman Fort, Cumbria

The top of Hardknott Pass in Cumbria is both a remote and for much of the year a very bleak place. So I guess not much fun for those Roman Soldiers billeted to outpost to maintain the Roman Empires hold over the Brits….. and very different from the Mediterranean climate they were so far from.

Remote as it was the Fort was large by Roman standards, so must have had seriously important security  issues for the Regiment to enforce. The Fort stands at some 280feet above sea level  and on a mountainous West to East Roman Road.

Monday or not…I guess there were a more than a few moody soldiers around.

9th April

(C) David Oakes 2018

Moody Monday… Howden Moor


The Old Sheep Pens, Howden Moor, Derbyshire

Easter Monday and it is  more than moody.  Overnight deluge of rain turned to sleet as the morning woke to a very dark start. I guess Howden Moor (above) although only a short distance away, but being high on the moors will be covered with a layer of snow.  Looking on the brighter side it surely cannot last for long…gone within a few days.

Howden Moor is on the southern slopes of the Derbyshire Pennines.  just below the horizon above is the source of the River Derwent that flows all the way through the county till it joins the Trent on the Nottinghamshire border.

Not that many years ago these moorland slopes would have been covered with sheep, hence the need for these large sheep pens. But overgrazing (along with other factors) was causing destruction to the moor, so whilst sheep still graze for part of the year the numbers are restricted.  At the moment, as it is Lambing season, they have been taken down to lower ground for safety.

These moors are just a big sponge of very deep peat on which some bracken but mainly heather has developed.  We are though told that many centuries ago trees covered many of these slopes. A conservation initiative is taking place on the slopes on the left of the moor to replant native trees, early days but they seem to have taken well….. so in a few year I may be able to capture a very different landscape.

2nd April

(C) David Oakes 2018


Moody Monday….and a Moody Mallard


Spring….and he doesn’t seem to have a friend in the World Lake. At least the Lake isn’t frozen this week

Last Monday we had snow and -5c, today Rain and +9c with 11c predicted….Oh! the joy of the British weather

12th March

(C) David Oakes 2018


Moody Monday…. another Grey Day


Low cloud, grey and a day of drizzle… so I suppose it is the perfect Moody Monday.

We are now past the mid point of February.  By reputation February is wet hence the old country rhyme….

February fill the dyke,
Be it black or be it white;
But if it be white,
It’s the better to like

But I have to tell the truth….this year February has on balance been sunny and dry for the most part, then when it has rained it has indeed rained. Rain filling the dykes, flooding meadows, creating muddy tracks for walking and of course swelling the rivers so they run fast.  So much for the black stuff, as for the white well we had (so far) one day with some snow.

But there are still 9 days of the month left and the forward forecast is not good.

19th February

(C) David Oakes 2018