We went looking for bluebell woods. Every spring since I can remember as the sun starts to warm the earth and the spring flowers come the possibility of bluebells comes closer. I love these little flowers. I think part of their joy is that feeling of having discovered a secret. There they are deep in woodland, carpets of blue, with their delicate bell heads hanging. Sunlight filtered through the trees in this ancient woodland. Apparently bluebells on the forest floor are a good indication of ancient woodland, which seems to make them all the more magical.
One of my earliest memories of visiting my grandparents in Sheffield was a walk to the nearby ‘Bluebell Woods’. In those days of naiivety we came back bearing armloads of the flowers to pile into jugs and vases for Granny, for whom t was too far to walk. Back for tea and blackberry and apple pie with custard, naked on a plate and with pastry that tasted better than any I have ever had since.
It’s funny how walks bring back memories, these woods remind me of when my kids were little and they would race ahead playing Cowboys and Indians ( sic) or Robin Hood games. Usually one or the other would slip in the muddiest part or at the edge of the string of ponds just for the fun of being wet and excited. On quieter walks I have seen squirrels chasing up the trees and once a heron sat calmly across a pond tucked away deep in the woods.
Today we took a book of British Wildflowers and had fun identifying and mis-identifying as we went along. My favourite is the Yellow Archangel just for the name, although the Mexican Flea-Bane and the Bastard Toad-Wort do deserve special mention!