Saturday, May 18, 2013

Bluebells and more

We go to see the bluebells in Barnsdale woods again. The sun is sulking behind the clouds. The trees are showing shades of new green,  yet the wind blows chill.  Summer's almost here, but she's forgotten something.

In the air above the grassy slopes are the first swifts I've seen this year, diving and swooping.

Blackthorn trees, their blossoms beginning to brown, as close by the creamier pink tinged hawthorn flowers are taking over.

Over the cattle grid into the woodland. By the path a few bluebells, mixed with cowslips and pink campion, and now the blue mist and the sweet smell as we walk deeper into the wood.

On our left the ground slopes down to the water - trees stand knee deep, like mangroves out of their comfort zone - of course they're willows.   We walk past memorial benches,  fallen trees,  tepee-shaped stacks of branches.

Birds sing. People walk, talk and cycle.  In a car park fishermen are putting their gear into a van - N29 FLY.  It crawls past us as we climb the hill.

Up there is a bench I haven't seen before.  And an orchard, planted for the Diamond Jubilee and open by "HM" the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland - in honour of "HRH" Queen Elizabeth.  Is this a red plot hatched by crazy egalitarians?

We walk down the grassy slope, back to the woods.  Stop to look, take photographs, even though the sunlight is still AWOL.

Woodland turns to grass, and here the air is thick with dancing midges - I swallow one, then disguise myself as a Western outlaw, with a handkerchief round nose and mouth, tied dashingly behind my ears.
Where are the swifts?

As we begin the drive home the sky turns blue and five miles later the sun comes out.

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