The admiration of the first English bluebells of spring is the closest British equivalent of hanami in Japan and leaf peeping in the US. There is something so fragile and fleeting about their delicate flowers! The ethereal beauty of blue forest floors is virtually impossible to capture in images, but I really enjoy trying.
Every year, Albert and I head to Blackbury Camp in Devon for a photoshoot as soon as the fragile flowers start to pop up on our regular walks. It has become our little spring rite. We went for A walk in the bluebell woods in 2015, and headed Back to the bluebell woods in 2016.
This year we brought a simple picnic, and shared some coconut water, vegan yoghurt and blueberries. Albert was a very happy monkey! We stayed for almost 3 hours and took 195 photos in the attempt to fully convey through images what it feels like to be surrounded by such astonishing natural beauty.
We have painstakingly narrowed this down to our 27 favourites. Plus the featured image. Plus a 9-second video. All the images were taken with my iPhone 7 Plus and are unedited. We hope you will enjoy our carefully curated selection below.
(If you can’t see the video above, use this link.)
An important part of our spring rite is to get a photo of the two of us together, among the English bluebells. This can be quite the task when you’ve got a bouncy monkey in one hand and a big camera phone in the other! I’ve managed fairly well in previous years, but this year it was proving difficult to get the perfect capture…
Still, the failed attempts also have their charm! We did get some good shots in the end, thanks to a friendly passer-by, but my favourite image ended up being the photo below. It reminds me of our Autumn appreciation selfie which was taken at the same spot.
(I do love to kissy his snozkins…)
The banks of the Iron Age hill fort were covered in English bluebells as far as they eye could see.
As a follow up to last week’s rhododelfie, I now give you the bluebellfie! (sorry)
This is the face of a dog who knows his chances of getting most of the picnic are high – because his human is a right klutz who keeps dropping food on the ground!
Blackbury Camp is an English Heritage site, but the National Trust is also very important to the preservation of English bluebells. Their habitats are threatened by Spanish bluebells who have spread past private garden boundaries, as well as by new hybrid varieties. Click here to find a list of National Trust bluebell woods in your area.
It was such a magical day!
You can see why I struggled to select just a few photos – everywhere I turned, there was another enchanting motif.
It truly was heaven in Devon.
No wonder people used to associate English bluebells with fairies!
So long, bluebell land! We’ll be back again next spring.
Love, Neens xx