Here in the UK we have more than half of the world’s bluebells and you can see them in woods up and down the country each spring. They are powerful magnets for photographers and artist alike, although strangely not always the easiest of subjects to photograph and capture the colour accurately.
Native bluebells are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. It’s against the law to dig up bulbs in the wild and landowners aren’t allowed to dig them up to sell them either. The ones found on many gardens and for sale in garden centres are Spanish bluebells.
‘March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb’. Weather lore goes back centuries and even today many of these sayings have some degree of accuracy. The trouble with March is that it doesn’t follow the transition from lion to lamb, or winter to spring, in a gradual, measured way. Each of its 31 days could be a fraction of a degree warmer, and the wind that little bit calmer, perhaps with a slightly more noticeable change on 21st as a token gesture to mark the first day of spring. But no, March keeps us guessing. A few days of fine weather followed by days of cold wind, frost, and, like today, a sprinkling of snow. If she’s feeling particularity mischievous, March will give all those things, and more, in a single hour.
Charles Dickens describes it particularly well in his quote on the back of today’s postcard.
St. Giles’ Church, Caldwell, South Derbyshire
No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow…
A postcard from St George’s Park, the National Football Centre in Staffordshire. The extensive grounds are beautifully maintained and the overall impression is that of a centre of excellence, wellbeing and perfection. It therefore seemed strange that this tree had escaped the woodcutter’s axe (or chainsaw). I couldn’t help but think of The Crooked Tree story.
Once upon a time there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. And they grew next to each other. And every day the straight tree would look at the crooked tree and he would say, “You’re crooked. You’ve always been crooked and you’ll continue to be crooked. But look at me! Look at me!” said the straight tree. “I’m tall and I’m straight.” And then one day the lumberjacks came into the forest and looked around, and the manager in charge said, “Cut all the straight trees.” And that crooked tree is still there to this day, growing strong and growing strange.
Tom Waits. From the film Wristcutters – A Love Story