Rhapsody in blue(bells)!

Every May we look forward to the appearance of bluebells. They put on a spectacular show in the woodlands and on the open moors in our region and nothing can compare with the heavenly scent of a bluebell wood in flower.

Having originated in the Midlands of England, I always associated bluebells with woodlands.  We had our very own bluebell wood on the farm where I grew up and my parents would always take us for walks to admire and smell the bluebells.  Although we knew they wouldn’t last very long in a vase, we always took a few back home with us.  That was long before everyone recognised the need to protect bluebells and NOT to pick them.

When I moved to Devon, I was surprised to find that in addition to woodland, bluebells were regularly found out on the open moorland.  Sometimes on long stems, fighting to keep their heads above the fast growing bracken crosiers; sometimes almost ‘dwarfed’ when growing among close cropped moorland grasses.  These ‘meadows’ of bluebells are spectacular.  For a short time each year they transform the landscape in which they grow.  The concentration of blooms is so great that the ‘smudges’ of blue can be seen from miles away.

We regularly attempt to capture images that truly reflect the beauty we see, but bluebells are fickle!  They change colour with the light and what look like solid blocks of colour to the naked eye, often appear a mere stippling of blue on a photographic image. 

We were fortunate that the ‘Covid lock-down’ eased just enough to let us get out and see this year’s show before they went over.  It was wonderful to be able to sit on a rock, among a sea of bluebells, and drink in their scent. The problems of the world seemed a long way away. Let’s hope that next year we will be able to travel a bit more widely to visit our favourite bluebell locations.

We hope this little AV will give you an impression of bluebell season in Devon and Cornwall.

Rhapsody in Blue is one of George Gershwin’s classic tracks and is now copyright free (SEE LINK).  This is one of the many versions that can be found at Archive.org.


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