Battling Bluebells

The whites and yellows of the countryside’s earliest blooms have given way to the purples and blues of the developing spring’s woodland floor. It’s a wonderful time of year to have had a run of clear skied sunny days, hours lost wandering through the shifting patterns thrown down from the canopy, muddy knees and stiff muscles from crouching amongst the stems and litter, the closest to fairyland that the woods ever achieve.

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Alongside fields of hay bales, I’ve always found it really hard to capture photos of our bluebells to my satisfaction. We don’t have the abundance granted to some woodlands, thick blankets sweeping across a wide angled lens, purple haze extending into the distance. We’re not blessed by hillsides smothered in the drooping purple petals, shining in the spring sunshine.

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Yet every year I hunt out the sylvan spots where the bluebells emerge to see what can be captured. I search out the spots where the flowers interact with the surrounding environment on a smaller scale: a backdrop of wood with curves reflecting the droop of the flower; the vibrant moss at the base of a trunk. Hunting for insects interacting with the plants adds some interest, the bluebells can also be used as foreground for a handsome dog portrait as well.

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Already the brief spell of a blue woodland is almost over, seed pods readying to lay the foundations for the return next year. Soon the hills will be the place to find the flowers, but for now, the battle to capture the bluebells continues.

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