Odd Couple of Days….


Weather warnings for severe winter weather and yep, in parts of the UK it has indeed been bad.  So far here in our little corner of middle England we seem to have missed the worst.  There was even some bright early morning sun, sun that cast long shadows but also had a hint of warmth in its colour.  After a string of dark, damp days this was certainly a very welcome change even if short lived_DSC9124bb



So if one chose the right window in the day you were rewarded with a great walk through the woods..

18th January

(C) David Oakes 2018



A Splash of Colour…….

PanziesWinter Pansies….

Despite the cold, the frosts, the wild winds and of course what has at time seemed like endless rain….our Winter Flowering Pansies are flourishing…..tempting us with the colours of Spring that are to come.

16th January

(C) David Oakes 2018

A Little bit of Sunshine….and plenty of Water


Derwent Dam, Upper Derwent Valley, Derbyshire

Wednesday morning we woke to what we thought was going to be another wet, grey, drab day….but the forecasters suggested that we would get a touch of sunshine to the north of the county and later in the day.  So off we headed to the Upper Derwent Valley…..seemed a daft spot to aim for when one considers that it is one of the largest sources and storage areas of drinking water. The Ladybower Reservoirs is a network of linking reservoirs and Dams. It came as no surprise after the wet winter to find the dams overflowing. The Reservoirs themselves nestle in deep valley below the High Peak moors which in turn deliver the waters for the reservoirs via a multitude of streams, and rivers that seem to flow without fail even in dry summers…..only a real drought causes a hiccup in the supply.


Herdsman’s Bridge, Cranberry Brook

Cranberry Brook is just one of those ‘little’ streams that add their waters to the vast collection of springs around Howden Moor.


Slippery Stones, River Derwent

At Slippery Stones we are less than a mile from the source of the River Derwent, just a trickle that soon gathers some pace before flowing into Howden Reservoir the highest of this network.

_DOI5588bb Today the waters are very still, a calm and stillness that in this brief spell of sunshine is deceptively warm looking.  But make no mistakes it is still cold, nestling below the surrounding moors with slopes clad in woodlands  which in many January’s are normally draped in snow…but not today.  The bright spell lasted for most of the afternoon…sunshine and blue skies and one cannot complain…


The bonus day had to end and at this time of the year with such a low sun the day ends far too soon….but not before we have on last glimpse through Netherwood at Ronksley..



The perfect end to very much unexpected winters day.

( I should add that the River Derwent does not end its journey in these reservoirs.  The River Derwent flows from North to South right through the county of Derbyshire ending its journey at the Nottinghamshire border where it merges into the River Trent)

11th January

(C) David Oakes 2018

Frosty Start…. to what turned out to be a Moody Monday



A cold night with a clear sky and no breeze resulted in a frozen lake this morning, quite a change from yesterday.  True the sky started blue but cloud soon formed and Monday then lived up to its moody Monday feel….but best not to begrudge the icy sunny start.

9th January

(C) David Oakes 2018

And Sunday didn’t disappoint ….


1a_00051_DO84250xwwwbb Allestree Lake

What a great relief after a week of heavy rains….Sunday did turn out to be sunny. Just great to be free to enjoy a leisurely walk even if there was still a cold wind.

The low sun brought out lots of winters colours thru the bare woodland and scrub…will not be long before the buds that are slowly swelling will burst from their winter quarters and herald the start of another spring…though I suspect there will still be some real winter days yet to come.


8th January

(C) David Oakes 2018