FOR those lucky enough to get out and about over the recent bank holiday, there must have been an occasion when the stunning blue of spring filtered through the shadows of a woodland or coppice to the delight of those who hold spring so dear.
The Black Country, for so long labelled as a dirty, grimy, industrial neck of the woods, never ceases to confound the critics (outsiders) and none more so than at this time of year. After the regimental parades of daffodils have finally waved goodbye in the breeze, massed ranks of bluebells arrive to adorn the barest of woodland glades, and this year in particular the blue hue of the Black Country seems to have impressed more than ever. The accompanying photographs were all taken deep in the heart of Saltwells Wood, near Dudley.
The humble bluebell is a treasure and thrives where the sun finds it difficult to penetrate the overhanging canopy. It is native to western Europe, found mainly in deciduous woodland, and almost half the global population is found here in the UK. It can therefore be assumed with confidence that the delightful and stunning apparition of a woodland carpet bathed in blue is the same scene that would have confronted and been enjoyed by our ancestors stretching back hundreds if not thousands of years.
Many words can be used in favour of the bluebell to evoke a feeling of majesty among the flowers that aspire to grow in the shade, deep in the wood. But a vision of the blue darlings cannot be surpassed, a little flower that combines to give a stunning hue of Black Country blue in springtime.