The start of the week followed a similar pattern of drizzle, some wind but mainly sunshine…..just a lot cooler. The Lake looked fresh in the morning sunshine but the waters had that murky look from the past heat and disturbance from the rains.

What did look rather fine is the new Lilly patch planted by the Angling Club. that and other plantings of wildlife friendly flora is making a world of difference…


The fresh morning feel was much more noticeable in our woodland.  Bracken and Ferns that have been suffering in the drought have a new lease on life adding a green hue to the darker woods…all together an invigorating walk….




It is now August so there is no denying that the year is progressing, seed heads are now the norm for some of our wild flowers though some others are still doing there best to add colour..


Harvesting is still ongoing creating yet another seasonal dimension…


But those signs of an approaching autumn which may well be early this year are appearing as a reminder that the summer has been so dry…maybe a period of prolonged rain may revitalise everything….


3rd August

(C) David Oakes 2018



Well Sunday heralded a Change in the Weather….



Beech Wood, Derbyshire

Sunday brought the change in weather that had been forecast for earlier in the week. No rain of any consequence and certainly not enough to dampen the woodland floor.  But it was dull with just an occasional flash of brightness that pretended to be the sun.

So the woods were darker under the leaf canopy but the biggest change seemed to be the temperature…. by comparison with the warm spring and summer the days  the contrast seem much greater that the reality as it still registered 17c.

All in all it was a mini shock to the system and reminded us on just how well the weather gods have looked after us….even though it cannot last for ever!

18th June

(C) David Oakes 2018

I am going to Repeat Myself!….


Ferns and Bracken in Big Wood

I know I have said it before and indeed several other bloggers have said the same thing….’it has been a strange year so far’.  The weather and the seasons have not run to the usual pattern. Here in our little corner of England we haven’t had rain for weeks now, even when predicted it seems to have passed us bye.  It has also been rather warm.

So I find it rather surprising that in the woods everything is still coming on, rich lush growth and still sprouting that bold and bright green related to spring and not missing the lack of rain…….all rather nice.



Not a sound apart from Bird song, lots of tweeting so I guess lots of new hatchlings trying to find a safe home in the woods.

There has also been some human activity…someone has tried a little bit of woodland art (or do they call it sculpture?)


16th June

(C) David Oakes 2018


Cool in the Woods…. but a change is on the way


Big Wood, Allestree, Derbyshire


A nice bright sunny start, hot but thankfully the humidity level has dropped. Not a hint of a breeze through the woods…. just the twitter of lots of small birds. The summer visitors were late arriving so they were late nesting and breeding, the good news is that there are lots of insects to feed the hatchlings.


Equally as calm down by the Lake…. not a ripple.

Maybe this is the calm before the storm as the forecaster predict a change, heavy rain later and high winds towards the end of the week.

12th June

(C) David Oakes 2018


Inside….. Looking Out



Buttercups beyond the Gate

I guess this has been a typical early Summer’s week.  Sunshine, a little cloud at times but so far no rain. Yesterday was a sunny day and hot! So making a change from walking the meadows we headed for a shady woodland walk.

Boy! how the tree’s have filled out, the leaf canopy casting dark shadows.  But that created its own magic.  Views from inside outwards gave contrasting images of the yellow buttercup filled fields, looking up you had all the contrast of the leaves filtering the sun and towards the end of our walk those fields gave way to water, still and quiet…the only sound being that of the birds….

In the hedgerow the Dog Roses are now in flower, wild they may be but as dainty and beautiful as any cultivated rose…



Butterflies seem much more prolific this year (there have been several poor years and concerns of losses) and the meadows were full of activity….but the special one for us was this Small Blue, no bigger than my thumb nail, small but incredibly fast…


Always grateful for a summers woodland walk and indeed it was the perfect day…  by the time we got back to the stable block the late afternoon sun was lower and added an extra glow to the red bricks of this rather special building…


8th June

(C) David Oakes 2018