March 1st…..but not yet Spring. BUT it is Saint David’s Day


Llyn Padarn looking towards Yr Wyddfa

Snowdonia, North Wales

March 1st, a new month and for the Meteorological Office its is the first day of Spring. With snow cover much of the UK, I guess many will share my view that Spring doesn’t start till the Equinox on March 20th.

What isn’t disputed is that March the 1st is Saint David’s Day.

Today marks the death of the Patron Saint of Wales on this day in 589AD.

So to mark this special day for all Welsh people where ever they may live, here is a bouquet of Daffodils…. the National Flower of Wales


A Bowl of Welsh Gold

Wales. Flag

1st March

(C) David Oakes 2018


A Winters Scene…..or two


I guess this could be a typical country scene across many parts of the UK today and over the coming week. This image is on one of the Victorian Greetings Cards in my collection.

In a recent (long put-off) sort out of files and the image archives, I also came across the image below….also a February shot.  Taken about 28 years ago on 35mm Fujichrome which I digitally scanned a few years later when we switched from film to digital imaging.  If I can dig out the traini I will try another scan on todays scanners which I am sure will produce better results….but meantime here we are

Skiddaw & Derwentwater, Cumbria

Skiddaw and Derwent Water, Cumbria 

27th February

(C) David Oakes 2018


Calm…before the Beast from the East arrives


Blue sky, not a cloud to be seen this Sunday.  A warm glow to the early morning sun…but an oh! so cold breeze adding an extra chill factor to an already cold day.  The forecast is that this week is going to get a whole lot colder with heavy snow in some places, all thanks to what they are calling the Beast from the East.

Determined to make the most of what could be the best day for sometime we headed off to the woods at Calke Abbey.  The sun tried its best to take away the chill and as the  day progressed that early mornings warm glow vanished to be replaces by a cold stark light with long shadows. Yep….it was a February light through the woods….


The estate buildings around Calke Abbey consists of traditional Red Brick buildings and on this sunny February morning caught the glow of the sun.


Holme Farm typical of the of those across the estate.

But it is the Stable Block that always acts as a magnet for me.  It has style, yet is still functional, it was also the focal point for much of the estates daily activities. Standing empty today it is far from a ghostly shell but a powerful reminder of days gone bye when horsepower really meant Horse Power….





Just two little asides to Calke Estate.  

Full marks for providing some of the best Rest Rooms around…even the Gentlemen’s Rest Room is graced with seasonal flowers from the estate….


They also provide a great Children’s Play area, swings, slides and climbing frame. But it is the remains, the skeleton of an old tree that always proves to be the preferred Play Area…the best climbing frame by far.  Surprisingly today it had no adventurers…


And don’t ask me what that metal contraption attached to the top is all about……I don’t know and there is nothing to tell us what this ‘piece of art’ represents. As Rolls Royce Aero Engine are built not that far away it has been suggested that it represents the shape of an engine…..odd, but no doubt someone’s pride of achievement.

A great sunny day…we will see what the week brings.

26th February

(C) David Oakes 2018

Sunny but still Dark on the Peak


Padley Gorge, Dark Peak, Derbyshire

Thursday, a much brighter day than of those of late.  The sun shone but through a hazy sky that dimed the brightness just a tad. First stop was Padley Gorge, a deep wooded gorge strewn with rocks over which water constantly tumbles even in the driest of times. We were keen to see the cascades in full spat after the recent rains, indeed it was full but we had forgotten the high winds of late so rather surprised to find so much wind damage and fallen wood….it is going to need some hard work clearing…

_DO84552bb The Gorge nearly always has a shadow moving over it, always damp, the Beech, Oak and rocks all covered with a wide variety of moss and lichen….  all adding a unique character to an old woodland…


Search amongst the rocks and you discover the occasional abandoned Gritstone Millstones.  In days gone bye these woods and surrounding area were alive with quarrying and stonemasonry crafts.  The Millstones were carved in situ from suitable sized rocks then transported to the nearest bridleway for transport across the UK.


Why are so many found abandoned….. simple an alternative means of manufacture was discovered (by the French) and the trade of Millstone Mason disappeared.

The legacy is a tranquil wood, with cascades and a place for nature to thrive..

16th February

(C) David Oakes 2018

DP Weekly Photo Challenge – SWEET


The Old Sweet Shop, Southwell

Take your pick of ‘Old Fashioned Sweets’ in this very special little Sweet Shop.  I bet that over many generations children have spent a good deal of their pocket money here….and no doubt a good number of BIG KIDS that we call adults have also enjoyed a sweet treat.

My suggestion for this weeks DP Photo Challenge – Sweet

Follow the links:-

via Photo Challenge: Sweet

15th February

(C) David Oakes 2018