I used to be indecisive…

…but now I'm not so sure


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Bluebell time!

For this walk through Whippendell Woods, Hertfordshire, I want you to imagine that we have smell-o-vision; the bluebells don’t just look lovely, the air around them is filled with their delightful scent.

Shall we start?  I head off down the path

Before long there are tempting glimpses in the distance of patches of bluebells

As I get deeper into the woods the numbers increase and the scent draws me in along some narrow paths until I am standing amongst them.

I meander along, inhaling the sweet scent and listening to the birds singing. At every turn there are more drifts of bluebells to be seen. (Click on any photo to see a slideshow)

I walk on along the wide path

Up the steps

And take a last look at the blue carpet before my walk comes to an end.

I hope you enjoyed coming along with me through the bluebell woods.  I’m linking this with Jo’s Monday Walk.

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A successful search for bluebells

It turned out that I was a bit premature in my hunt for bluebells in the woods a few weeks ago, but I went back last week and this time the display was superb.  Not only was the display of blooms wonderful, but so was the smell.  I don’t remember noticing a smell in previous years, but this time it was really quite strong.  Perhaps it’s something that happens when they are only just in bloom and as the days pass the smell reduces – I’m planning a return visit very soon, so I’ll find out.

As I was heading for the bluebells there were lots of birds flying between the trees, or hopping in the undergrowth by the side of the path.  I wasn’t quick enough with my camera to capture most of them, however I did manage to get these two.

Nearly there now

My first glimpse

bluebell wood

Then everywhere I looked there were bluebells.

Oh, and over here there were some more…

At one point I could hear an insistent tapping sound so I stopped and looked round and spotted this hole about 10 feet up a tree.  The woodpecker inside it was obviously very busy.

woodpecker hole

Heading away from the bluebells and out of the woods, I stopped to take a photo of the beautiful blue sky, and was passed by a man and his friendly dog.

The canal lock and bridge were just visible through the branches, but in a few more weeks the leaves will be out and this particular view will have disappeared.

bridge

At the end of my walk I spotted a little bridge over the river that I don’t remember seeing before, so I think some trees or bushes must have been cut down.

river bridgeSo there we have it – a search that turned out to be very successful indeed this time!


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Friday letters – the bluebell edition

Dear motorways, Thank you for your cooperation on my drive south on Tuesday – no incidents and no hold ups through the roadworks.

Dear soup,  Where would we be without you?  You are such a multi-tasking food – warming, filling, tasty, quick to make etc etc.

Dear birds, I’m sorry that you ran out of food yesterday.  It was very remiss of me to let the feeders run down so low. As soon as I have finished these letters I will be out there replenishing them.

Dear bluebells, At last!  It was excellent to go for a walk in the woods this week and find you well and truly on your way to making a magnificent spectacle.

bluebells

Happy Friday everyone!


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In search of bluebells

Having heard a rumour a few days ago that bluebells have been making an early appearance in the south of England, I thought I’d better take myself off to the woods post haste in case I missed them. So, at the weekend I visited the area where I have usually seen vast swathes of bluebells carpeting the ground and stretching off into the distance.

On the way into the woods, I first had to check on the progress of the weeping willow tree, which last year suffered some damage and the main trunk broke off.  It used to be such a tall, majestic tree and it seems sad to see it as a shadow of its former self.  The buds are beginning to appear.

weeping willow I saw a pair of ducks were dabbling around in the water.  There were some moorhens too, but they had swum off before I had my camera ready.

mallards Over the canal next,  looking in both directions to see what was happening.

canal

canal Then I followed the path through the woods and off to places where I knew I would find bluebells.

Along the way I saw a few trees with leaves beginning to appear, vibrant green moss, fungi, interesting bark and some primroses.

A horse and rider passed by,

I walked by all the areas where I would normally see the blue carpet of bluebells, but everywhere I looked the carpet was still green…

… I was giving up hope, when at last I spotted it – one single bluebell, all on its own in the acres of green leaves.

bluebell

Success – although I don’t think this can count as our local bluebells being out yet.  I’ll give it another week or so and go and look again.

I’m linking my woodland walk with Jo’s Monday Walk.

 


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looking for bluebells

Today’s walk is in Whippendell Wood in Hertfordshire.  It is an ancient woodland, meaning it has been continuously wooded since at least 1600, and has an avenue of lime trees which dates back to 1672 when it was part of a large country estate and was used to provide timber, firewood and game hunting.  It is also a site of Special Scientific Interest due to its semi-natural vegetation, the rich variety of fungi and the invertebrate fauna.

So that’s the background, let’s get on with the walk.

Some woodland management seems to have been going on.  Normally fallen trees are left to rot in situ, but it looks like an area has been cleared for some reason.

pile of logs

It’s not long before I have my first sight of drifts of beautiful bluebells

bluebell wood

Whippendell Wood 1

The path ahead takes me down a slope between the trees, the sunlight filtering through the leaves

Whippendell Wood 2

Whippendell Wood 3

After going down, now I need to go up

sleeper steps

more bluebells

I’m not sure what this structure is for, but there are a few here and there in the woods

stick teepee

drifting bluebells

 Now my walk has come full cirle and I can see the piles of logs in the distance
log pile
I hope you enjoyed our walk through the woods.
I’m linking this with Jo’s Monday Walk so, if you have the energy and feel up to it,  you could go over to her blog and enjoy another walk.


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Friday letters – the post election edition

Dear General Election,  Thank goodness you are over for another five years.  I was beginning to get snowed under by all the campaign leaflets/posters/begging letters that were coming through the door on a daily basis.

Dear cherry blossom,  Oh well, you were lovely while you lasted (and you lasted a long time!).  The heavy rains and fierce winds of the last few days have finished you off.  I’m looking forward to seeing you again next spring.

Dear pile of books,  Well, that’s another one of you finished with and removed from the pile!  Not that I completed it, but I had had enough so I decided life was too short, and the pile still too high, for me to waste any more time – I did get halfway through, though,  before I decided that Far From the Madding Crowd was just not my kind of novel.

Dear car,  I am not impressed that you decided to have a ‘funny turn’ the other morning and not start.  Thankfully, after ignoring you for 24 hours, you started again properly and were fine, but I’m not very happy with you.  If this happens again I may have to start thinking of replacing you,  even though you have given me 12 years of faithful service.  Take this as your warning…

Dear bluebells,  You are looking wonderful again this year. 

bluebells May 2015

Have a good Friday everyone.