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


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

Evening on the Heather Moor…..



Stanton Moor, Derbyshire

Another lovely summers day…very hot as is the current norm!  So we waited to the cooler evening temperatures arrived and headed for the moors where we hoped the extra height might just give us a cooling breeze.

Being August it was also time  for the Heather to start to bloom.  The hot dry summer has taken its toll in many ways. Here on Stanton Moor the grasses were both brittle and bright yellow in the low evening sun.  The Bilberry were short and looked as if most fruits had shrivelled up…as for the Heather, well the best that can be said on this moor is that it was doing its best.


There were still patches where the massed grouping gave you swaths of purple colour but on closer inspection the flower buds were either small or shrivelled some never reaching the blossom stage. Not sure that if we do get some rain soon that it will improve matters this season.



One thing which was very noticeable….. this August the Heather was not giving off its distinctive waxy aroma, the distinctive smell of the heather just wasn’t there.  Nor were there the usual Bees that normal seeking out the pollen.


There is also a small flock of Herdwick, there usual task is to help graze the vegetation and keep it under natural control. Normally they go around in a social flock, all grazing together and leisurely moving round the moor..  find one you find them all.  Not this time they were spread across the moor in groups of 2 or 3 and they were constantly moving, noses to the ground…obviously doing there very best to seek out what nutrition they could get from the tinder dry moor.

The weather will change ‘eventually’ ….. till it does evening walks are perhaps the best option for enjoying this summer warmth.

7th August

(C) David Oakes 2018