August has arrived…..


The first of August, the year moves along at a pace. Now I do know that many folk still have to take their summer holidays and August is a key month for tourism, it is though for me the month when we start to see some very early signs of autumn.

The flowering Mombrecia with it delicate bright orange flower heads is one key indicator of this change.  I also admit that Mombrecia is one of my favourite flowers…. it can be a little haphazard in the garden but a habit I am more than willing to put up with…it also loves wilder locations, loch side edges in the West Highlands is where its at its best.   Nor should one confuse it with the ‘posh’ Crocosmia with its fire red flowers.


No, the humble Mombrecia are the August blooms for me….


Another sign that autumn is on the way can be found on the Oak trees…. it does look as if we are going to get a bumper crop of Acorns this season. That of course is still dependant upon the weather, and squirrels,  between now and autumn proper.


1st August

(C) David Oakes 2019


The new ‘Seasonal’ Calendar has begun…


Springtime at Chatsworth, Derbyshire

The winter Solstice was yesterday, so we now enter a new seasonal year.  With the forecasters telling us that we (here in our corner of the UK) will not have a white Christmas…. we can now look forward to Spring.  During the long winter nights still to come and maybe there will be some snow, it might at times, seem a long way off….but it will not be too long before the new growth of Spring arrives.  Something worth waiting for.

22nd December

(C) David Oakes 2018

Monday started so well……


After a week of dull, damp (though no rain) and cold days we woke on Monday to a glorious sunny morning.  The sun of course remained low casting long shadows but it also found its way into the Willow Coppices.  They need thinning now but have been providing great cover for the ferns thriving in the damp grass…


It was also surprisingly warm, only a light fleece for a walk round the lake.  Despite the leaf drop of last week there are still some clinging on… and this bright sun continued to bring out the last of the autumnal colours….



Bright as the sun was it lacked that richness of a few weeks ago.  Nor was it to last.  By Lunch time the dull grey sky was back and a thicker fleece called for.  Nor is the forward forecast encouraging.  The much needed rain is due and with it will be some gales.

As for Monday morning it was far from moody and I guess a bonus to enjoy… 🙂


27th November

(C) David Oakes 2018

A Jewelled Carpet…..


Well we really cannot complain, the prediction is that winter will arrive from our friends in Europe later today. But right now we can continue to enjoy the autumnal colours.  They were late in arriving but have been a real visual feast since.

Nor has it just been the woods that have been enhanced by the colours, the lakeside too has been magnificent and an added pleasure to the Pike Fishermen.

So I guess its out with the fleeces and thermals and wait to see what nature actually delivers over the next few months…..and without any doubts we do need some rain. At least over the darker winter months we have the memories of a record breaking summer and a fabulous late autumn…


20th November

(C) David Oakes 2018