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The Tuesday tree: a bluebell wood

May 10, 2011

What a beautiful month this is in the British Isles. It is only as an adult that I have really come to appreciate May. For a school or college student, May means looming exams and no time to appreciate the unfurling beauty of nature. These days, I still feel lucky every year that I have the leisure to look about me and to walk in the woods in this season.

In our part of Scotland, the wild bluebells are almost fully out now. That’s well behind England, but a good week or two ahead of last year, just as everything has been this spring. Our bluebells are not as dense as they sometimes are: in good years, the grass in this woodland is hidden beneath a blue haze. But, scattered amongst the grass and dotted with white stitchwort, they are still a lovely sight.

In one corner of the wood, many of the bluebells are actually pink or white:

while in another, they contrast with the brilliant yellow of broom:

The frequent rain we’ve been having recently – making up for our hot, sunny April – seems to saturate the colours and make the grass an unearthly emerald.

Beneath birds’ nests concealed in the trees, there are little broken eggshells in the grass,

and overhead, the canopy of wet beech leaves is green,

upon green,

upon green.

I wrote a pean to this bluebell wood last year, In the enchanted wood. This is also the wood that featured in its winter starkness in The Tuesday tree: the forest floor.

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. Toffeeapple permalink
    May 10, 2011 6:47 pm

    Beautiful! Our Bluebells are finished now, unfortunately.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      May 10, 2011 7:01 pm

      Ah well, now you can enjoy these ones instead!

      • May 10, 2011 7:27 pm

        Here in Devon, ours are almost finished too. One of the smallest guest dogs who is staying for three weeks just loves racing through them . . planning a blog post featuring her later this week! I do so agree about the joys of May; now that I no longer lead a deskbound life, I’m appreciating it more than ever. And this year’s May has been exceptionally joyful.

  2. May 10, 2011 9:17 pm

    A sea of blue and a sky of green. And the smell of fresh rain. You can just feel things growing looking at these pictures.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      May 10, 2011 10:39 pm

      Yes, the smell of the woods is wonderful in all this rain…

  3. May 11, 2011 6:02 pm

    Your posts and beautiful pictures are a relaxing time out for me to which I always look forward.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      May 11, 2011 6:18 pm

      That’s so gratifying to know: thank you very much for telling me! Glad you enjoy them.

  4. May 11, 2011 8:26 pm

    Another post to gladden the heart. 🙂 Thank you so much. We left our north Scottish bluebells and the luxuriant broom and gorse in their full glory on Monday when we headed south again. Here the bluebells are almost over, as are the forget-me-nots in this accelerated spring. Still there will be honeysuckle soon and the roses are coming out, as is the laburnum.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      May 12, 2011 5:10 pm

      You remind me of some of the many things I love about living in a temperate climate. There is always something to look forward to!

  5. May 11, 2011 9:42 pm

    So very lush and luxuriant, and all the more so with the raindrops.

    Don’t mention exams here. Highers start on Friday in this house, and university exams are underway at a distance for the other one. Quel stress!

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      May 12, 2011 5:11 pm

      Lordie, good luck to you all with that!

  6. May 11, 2011 9:43 pm

    The Bluebells of Scotland, they’re so pretty en masse. Here, I’m waiting for the daffodils. Thanks for showing us your world; your photography is lovely.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      May 12, 2011 5:11 pm

      Thank you very much. I enjoy ‘visiting’ your world too!

  7. Deb permalink
    May 11, 2011 10:47 pm

    It is one of my life’s ambition’s to walk through a bluebell wood in spring. Since we don’t have these here this dream has yet to be realized. However, we do have violets growing on our lawn under our various shrubberies, so for now I’ll have to be content with that. Not quite the same.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      May 12, 2011 5:13 pm

      Perhaps you’ll make it some day. Meanwhile the violets are different, yes, but adorable too. We have them scattered in the grass here: they get a bit swamped when the bluebells arrive but they give such pleasure nonetheless.

  8. May 13, 2011 11:54 am

    Like Deb, bluebell forests have been a dream of mine for a while. When I was younger, we had an English Earth Sciences teacher. I suppose he was supposed to be teaching us about ecosystems more local to us, but instead all of the things he taught us about were to do with England. While this was probably a teaching misstep, his photos of bluebell woods stuck with me. I am so happy to maybe have the chance of seeing them still this year. Hopefully they’ll still be around on Sunday and we’ll manage to find them!

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      May 14, 2011 4:58 pm

      They are looking gorgeous at the moment, so good luck finding some!

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