It is Changing …….


Change is on the way..

Although summer still has many more days instore for us there is no doubt that the days are starting later and finishing earlier…..  that sun is drifting south and giving us mornings and evenings of longer shadows.


The wet spring and heatwave summer has played many tricks on our plants. We have a Rose that normally only produces flowers the once, so this year it has been a bonus producing a flower on 3 occasions… a real bonus even if the later flowers have not been as vibrant or strong.  Berries are forming and Sweet Chestnuts are prolific, hopefully giving us a good crop of nuts in a few weeks time. As for the recent rains, well they didn’t amount to much but did rejuvenate flowers like Geraniums. The river is still low and calm, even though the weir runs white. The year is progressing and autumn will arrive in due course…in the meantime we have that late summer where the light is low, warm and kind.

Ideal evenings for a jog in the Park  (if of course you are that way inclined)


If not then walk the dog…or just put your feet up and relax   🙂

24th August

(C) David Oakes 2018




The Clock is Ticking….


It only seems like yesterday that we were celebrating the start of a New Year, the day before that it was Christmas…. Yet here we are 1st of February.  Is it just me or is time really passing at the speed of a supersonic plane.

For many February is considered as the last month of Winter.  For the civil service based Meteorological Office it is…but being science based they feel the need to break the year up into seasons of an equal number of months. Astrologically, Winter is with us till the Spring Equinox on the 28th March.

So far this winter it has been un-seasonally mild and our gardens and countryside tell us that.  So will we have an early Spring… your guess is as good as anyone’s.

What I do know is that as Winter moves towards its close, it often has a ‘sting in its tail‘ and February is often the month it chooses to Wag that tail.

Indeed snow, in middle of February, is not uncommon in our corner of the UK, here in Derbyshire, as shown here above Hathersage and on Stanage Moor.


What will February bring this year?…..  who knows, maybe scenes like those above.  The only certainty is that we will be just that little closer to Spring

1st February

(C) David Oakes 2018

Brown Heather…….


Stanton Moor, Derbyshire

Last day of January, cold but sunny and a hazy blue sky….a bonus day after the winter weather of the week just gone. So a breath of real fresh air was called for and those expansive views from Stanton Moor beckoned.

The snow, frosts, wind and rains have done there job and flattened the Bracken, whilst  the Heather that cloaks most of the moor looks a rather sorry brown…but in amongst the Heather Blueberry shoots are starting to green.

Stanton Moor is very familiar to us.  Its near, its high (compared to surrounds) and it is perhaps unusual for a moor and has some trees.  Small plantations of Silver Birch are dotted about giving this moor its rather special character….. the moor edges are clocked with mysterious gnarled Oak.   Add to that a megalithic Stone Circle “The Nine Ladies”, a striking memorial tower to Earl Grey, numerous earth works and old quarries and of course the Cork Stone ready to be climbed by the foolhardy……all add interest to a walk that changes not just with the seasons but every week – as the weather changes.

 So its goodbye January 2018…..lets see what February has in store for us.

31st January

(C) David Oakes 2018