It is that time of the year again when the bluebells start to flower. As we travel along the country roads they appear in the hedgerows and in fields and along footpaths and of course in the woods. I see drifts of blue between the trees and I know how wonderful this time of year is.
On Monday as I walked through the village I kept seeing little patches of blue bells here and there. On my way home there was a few stems in the verge at the side of the road, as I brushed past I was able to smell that gentle perfume of bluebells. It took me straight back to my childhood. I knew where I was going the next day, to see and breathe in the scent of bluebells.
We wandered along the old track which was once a railway line. It is a lovely walk with the path carved through stone, now overgrown with ferns and ivy and wild flowers. Trees seem to line the whole way, some growing from the steep bankings high up above us. The trees have been allowed to seed and spread and grow on both sides of the paths, the birds sing and wild flowers grow.
The woods on the edges of the track fill up with bluebells each year. There are many old footpaths with stone steps and others with a stile or a gate, well worn tracks across the fields to farms or other valleys.
A beautiful arched stone bridge crosses over this old railway line and your voice echoes as you pass under it. Then at one place we are walking over a bridge, as we look down from the high vantage point the cows pass under us to follow the muddy cart track to go up to the farm.
It is a place to hear the birds, see them fly from tree to tree, catch sight of a nest. You can hear the loud eerie call of the pheasants and today we saw two different birds, one startled by us and bolted into the air and the other sat still behind a hedge on the edge of the wood. An orange tipped butterfly settled on a pink campion and many other white winged butterflies were seen flying by.
Wild flowers thrive in such places as these, primroses allowed to seed and multiply and look as pretty as a picture growing under the wooden gate.
This place is a haven for ferns, in the rich woodland soil, tall ferns unfolding as they grow daily and seem to spread everywhere. They hang from the slate, thrive even in the smallest cracks, between gaps in the stone walls and between tree roots. In the woods they grow tall towards the light and looked especially beautiful growing between the bluebells. A shaft of sunlight and the fresh green ferns and the bluebells looked just perfect together. I picked a large one to bring home to draw.
I photographed the drifts of bluebells in the woods, ferns, wild flowers and trees. I really enjoyed my walk. I wasn't alone, we saw three ladies and a dog, three younger ladies with small children and a dog, several couples, a group of friends and three office girls on their lunch break. It was a little cool and threatened rain with a few drops, we were all dressed and well prepared for our great British weather. Everyone taking in this lovely walk was rewarded with such lovely sights of the bluebells.
It must have been such a lovely train ride before the line was closed was closed, the views from the carriages to open fields and farm lands, hills and beautiful green valleys and the larger Lakeland hills. And of course the Bluebell woods.
I picked a few smaller ferns and have been drawing and I have just started to sketch out the large one from the wood.