Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Bluebells

Only a week since these same woods were carpeted in white, This Sunday they surprised me with a mass of bluebells, I think they are early this year.



This is the woodland at Outwood which I visited on my last post.  It is next to the windmill (which was the oldest working windmill in England until storms caused damage in 2013).  The National Trust owns this woodland, which is part of the Harewood Estate.



-

These beautiful flowers are an indicator of ancient woodland, which is defined as land that has been continuously wooded since 1600 or earlier.



Wood anemone spreads via root, not seed and takes 100 years to spread a mere six foot.  because of its slow growth it is usually only found in old woodland.  It is tempting to pick but is poisonous.



Bluebells here are the old English Bluebell and not the more recent Spanish variety that has become invasive in some parts of this country.   The English bluebell is the only one that carries scent (I think they smell like sugar and rain)  and the flower spike has bells on one side only, giving the graceful droop that is so characteristic, the English Bluebell  has white, not blue, anthers.



IN 1548 William Turner wrote about Bluebell in his book, The Names of Herbe's,
 'some use the root as glue' (surprising that such a delicate flower would have such strength hidden inside).   I have been reading about this and found there is evidence that the flower glue was used to fix feathers to arrows in the Bronze age.  Just imagine.


There is so much to see in these woods:  banks of celandine by the stream, wild primrose and violet,  honeysuckle putting out new shoots, hover flies and butterflies everywhere here already.



Our ancient woodland is protected but there are loopholes in our UK development regulations that still leave some beautiful areas in danger of being lost.   There is much about this and proposed amendments to the current protective laws of ancient  woodland at The Woodland Trust website *here*.  




For the next few weeks I am very lucky to be able to see these thousands of wood anemone in drifts mingling with bluebells as far as the eye can see.  Beyond this some fields are now bright yellow with rapeseed.  All I' m looking for now to complete the picture is a spring lamb or two!


Today I am pottering, I might paint a little, do some gardening or even some Spring cleaning! but it's likely I will be heading back to the bluebells too before the day is over........



17 comments:

  1. Gorgeous photos. I love your description bluebells smelling like sugar and rain. Ours aren't in bloom yet, I think it's a lot colder up here. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you ever find a bluebell print scarf on your chazza trips, it's got my name on It!

      Delete
    2. If you ever find a bluebell print scarf on your chazza trips, it's got my name on It!

      Delete
  2. Oh, Betty! The woodlands are captivating! I wish I could take a morning walk with you. I hope you do get to paint and potter today. Thank you for showing us all the loveliness!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I haven't seen any bluebells this year at all. I do love the idea of the strength within though. I'm looking forward to a pottering weekend- hope yours was fruitful x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mags hope you find some bluebells. My pottering turned into a full on spring Clean!

      Delete
  4. You are ahead of us. The bluebells are not yet out, but I do have some wood anemones in a corner of the garden. What a treat to be amongst those flowers in the woods.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would love to have anemone in the garden, maybe I should stop weeding so much and see what I get.

      Delete
  5. Isn't it uplifiting to see Spring springing? Hope you've had a chillaxed day. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am reading Chris Packhams new nature book, so much info about what's happening at this time of year.

      Delete
  6. The beauty of nature is always something to enjoy and treasure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely Rose, I gave up picking flowers a long time ago...the beauty is in the habitat.

      Delete
  7. What a beautiful spring floor covering. I don't think I've ever seen that many wildflowers together. Truly amazing.
    Your paintings are lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sandra, paintings can only capture an essence though I am so glad I can paint what I see.

      Delete
  8. It sure is gorgeous in your part of the world! :)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting, please leave a comment if you would like me to know you passed this small corner of the world. To prevent spam I block anonymous comments.