Almanac: English oaks and white bluebells

My two middle sons run down the hill together, so close in age that they are almost the same height. The trees dwarf them. When I think back to this wood, I never imagine the trees being so tall; it seems such a close, small place in my memory.

Spring is still with us and red campions line the paths. Newly blossomed, this one spoke to my camera, with all of its recently unfurled crinkles showing in the petals.

We steer off track onto the less-used trails. The bluebells are starting to fade here; they look more settled-in as part of the woodland palette than the electric blues of before. Everywhere above us is the flutter of birds. Beneath our feet, the forest floor stirs with insects.

There is something very comforting in the sight of a new oak tree. A woodland future secured. We find this sapling just a few feet away from a gnarled ancient representative of the same species. Then we spot several more. A nursery of oak.

My older son charges ahead, finding the way. He loves exploring these wilder paths. His brother holds my hand and perfectly mimics the birdsong around us. He pauses to run his fingers lightly through a fern; a shiny beetle crawls onto his hand and he observes it for a moment before settling it onto a fallen branch.

I kneel down next to him and notice that a small daisy that looks pure white from a distance, is delicately edged with pink tinges to each petal.

This unexplored route takes us almost out of the woodland. The path then comes back under the shade of the tree canopy beside a small stream, whose waters flow down from the edge of the dairy fields.

After crossing an old wooden bridge and taking a short uphill climb we return to our hidden glade. The clearing is so verdant, it is hard to imagine that just a few months before it was an icy winter pond fringed with sharp bare branches.

On this shadier side of the wood, the bluebells need a little more coaxing and are only just in their first flush of vivid colour. They arrive later, though always appear in denser numbers.

We stop for a while and scan this floral horizon, nowhere to rush to. When the breeze rushes through the tiny bells they become a shimmering ocean beneath the trees. As they crest, we spot a flare of white amongst the blue.

Before us is an albino variety of the English bluebell, exceptionally rare in the wild. I make a note of where we find it, in the hopes that it will return next year.

โ€”Keep safe and well everyone. With heartfelt thanks to all those who are working to keep us safe, especially those on the frontline in the NHS and hospitals around the world.โ€”

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28 Comments Add yours

  1. shazza says:

    What lovely photos. Nature is wonderful isn’t it. X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I think the scenery is doing all of the hard work for me – I feel like I could point my camera anywhere in the woodland and the photos would look lovely ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. moragnoffke says:

    Sounds and looks absolutely gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much Morag, I hope you are keeping well x

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Tina says:

    Beautiful photos. Your wide shots are very painterly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Tina, I trained in art history, so telling me that my photos are painterly is a wonderful compliment x

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much x

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Blanca says:

    Amazing photos! I love the albino English bluebell pic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Blanca, I’ve been trying to spot one for years, they are so delicate ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  5. tootlepedal says:

    Fabulous shot of the red campion. They are brightening our life up here too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tootlepedal – it was a very nice moment when I had the camera focused and then suddenly it focused just a little bit more sharply and all of the petal wrinkles were picked up! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Beautiful post, nature at its best. It gladdens the soul. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That was lovely and I could imagine being on that walk! I love the close-up of the flowers and of course Iโ€™d love to just sort of spin around in those trees admiring all the beauty ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Delightful walk. Reminds me of the park I used to walk in regularly.


    Liked by 1 person

  9. TanGental says:

    Are your bluebells still out? Ours are long gone in this heat…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Love the white bluebell!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. A delightful walk beautifully photographed and described. The scale in that first picture is fascinating.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Frugal Fixes says:

    How beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Magical picture of your son on the path way with towering trees.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Lovely. Those blue bells are my favorite. We have beautiful woods nearby, but the plentiful deer bring plentiful ticks. Are ticks a problem in English woods?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Blogs by J says:

    Always love seeing your bright and cheery posts and pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Syd Weedon says:

    I love the photos and the narrative.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Nancy says:

    Such loveliness! Nature is my saving grace during this crazy time!
    Loved strolling with you!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Ann Mackay says:

    What a beautiful walk – loved being able to ‘accompany’ you! It lifts my spirits. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  19. madeline2020 says:

    What a beautiful forest. Reminds me of the hundred acre wood.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is a very similar type of old English wood – you are spot on ๐Ÿ™‚ Itโ€™s only 29 acres though so possibly not big enough for Woozles ๐ŸŒผ

      Liked by 2 people

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