With a Spring Flower being one of the challenges this month, I could not resist focusing on one of England’s treasures – the Bluebell. Each year, the woodlands in England spring to life in riots of colour. It starts with carpets of Snowdrops followed by bright yellow Daffodils and still a bit later, the majestic carpets of Bluebells. I remember as a child reading in books written by famous English writers – such as the likes of Enid Blyton – of ‘Bluebell Woods’. I could picture it so clearly in my minds eye, my heart longing to visit these places of natural beauty of which I read. There is no such thing as a Bluebell Wood in Africa! So when we moved to England in January last year and Bluebell time came around – it was one of those things that we just had to do – and we were not disappointed. I determined then and there that each year I would visit my closest display of Bluebells.
Today was the day! I had searched the Woodland Trusts ‘VisitWoods‘ page to find my nearest woodland and found the most beautiful woodland nature reserve right on my doorstep! I know that there are going to be many more summer visits and picnics to Healy Dell! I did a little search on the Woodland Trusts website to find out a bit more on this little flower and found this great page. They had a lovely Bluebell download to take along with us on our walk. We learnt some interesting facts about Bluebells from these great downloads, like in England there are two varieties – the Native and the Spanish, there are very distinct differences between the two as outlined in the Bluebell download. The Native Bluebell is protected. You may not dig up the bulbs to sell, however you can pick the flowers, seeds and leaves for your own use (source: Woodland Trust Website). Interestingly, some estimates suggest that the UK has up to half the worlds Bluebell population!
We were not walking alone today, the girls were delighted that our friend Mr. B and his mom and baby sister were joining us for our Bluebell walk as well as a dear friend and her beautiful children whom we had not seen in a few weeks. So much excitement and joy at being reunited again.
Unfortunately the Bluebell display was sparse – I think we may have been a bit early – or late?. I’ve been judging it on all the Bluebells in bloom in my garden and along our wooded lane, which have all been in full bloom for the past two weeks or so. Of course we saw a few, but nothing like what we saw last year. The picture above was our trip to the woodlands in April 2011. We have since moved an hour and a half north of where we were and we have experienced a marked difference in general temperatures and precipitation, so I am wondering if perhaps we were a bit early in our bluebell endeavours. I think we will go back to Healy Dell in a week or two and see what the Bluebells are doing then.
Bluebells aside, Healy Dell is beautiful! Apparently it has an awesome Autumn display so looking forward to that later on in the year. We found these great little ‘totem pole’ people.
I think the highlight of our walk had to be Mr. B’s sharp eyes in spotting a wild deer! It was quite wonderful to have watch this shy creature and really made the whole walk well worth while!
After our walk, we headed home to have some hot tea and cake as well as make a journal entry using a notebooking page I created – feel free todownload it.
|Miss V-L’s Page|
|Miss J-L’s Page|
Here is a little video put together by the Woodland Trust to promote a visit to the see the Bluebells. We watched it last year and found that it has quite a catchy tune, so much so that when I told the girls that today was Bluebell day – they immediately started singing it ;o)
That wraps up another great encounter with nature! Have a wonderful week-end everyone.