Wild Bluebell Woods

bluebells-26Goodness, has it truly been a month since I wrote my wee post about life in the village? Isn't it strange how the days seem to crawl but the weeks and months fly by? It's been nearly a month but life in the village is nearly the same now as it is then. The roads are quiet, gates usually left open are closed (although they did remove the padlock from our wee cemetery and church ruins), the biggest changes to be seen in the last month aren't to be found in the streets or buildings though--it's in nature. Many of us spend our days in a standstill, checking the news too often and waiting for updates that never reassure, but nature and spring marches on. The days have stretched longer with golden evening light slanting through the sky well past nine before giving way to dusky pink sunsets and foggy evenings perfect for quiet walks with the dog down the empty streets of the hushed village. But the greatest change is in the woodlands. bluebells-53 bluebells-58
The sun-loving wood anemone has faded to a green shadow as the trees have unfurled their leaves and the shade-loving bluebells have emerged and spread into a sea of violet-blue caps interrupted here and there with wild garlic and cow parsley. The bluebells are always so striking. They grow throughout the park near our home, cropping up under the trees that line the main road up to the old manor house, sporadically appearing under old chestnuts and lime trees, but it is only deeper in the woods were they gather en masse. Even here we can't boast a complete bluebell forest as you see in some regions, our bluebells are interrupted with by badger trails and random clumps of other plants and old leaves and logs. But they're stunning all the same, well earning their title as a fairy flower. bluebells-7-side
ASOS hat, Mikaela Lyons necklace, old Doen dress, vintage book
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This year I've been learning more about how to identify the different types of bluebells. The ones pictured here are likely the native bluebell--you can tell by the curling stem, the darker blue almost violet color of the flowers, the longer shape of each bud, and the white, sweet-smelling pollen inside. But the bluebells in our woods aren't only natives. There are also paler Spanish bluebells and hybrids of the two interspersed throughout. I'm working on a wee video showing the different varieties, all spotted within our small park and a short walk from our house.bluebells-59-side bluebells-42 bluebells-38"The Bluebell is the sweetest flower
That waves in summer air:
Its blossoms have the mightiest power
To soothe my spirit’s care.
There is a spell in purple heath
Too wildly, sadly dear;
The violet has a fragrant breath,
But fragrance will not cheer,
The trees are bare, the sun is cold,
And seldom, seldom seen;
The heavens have lost their zone of gold,
And earth her robe of green.
And ice upon the glancing stream
Has cast its sombre shade;
And distant hills and valleys seem
In frozen mist arrayed.
The Bluebell cannot charm me now,
The heath has lost its bloom;
The violets in the glen below,
They yield no sweet perfume.
But, though I mourn the sweet Bluebell,
‘Tis better far away;
I know how fast my tears would swell
To see it smile to-day.
For, oh! when chill the sunbeams fall
Adown that dreary sky,
And gild yon dank and darkened wall
With transient brilliancy;
How do I weep, how do I pine
For the time of flowers to come,
And turn me from that fading shine,
To mourn the fields of home!"
-Emily Brontë
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