Waiting for Spring

First Bluebells seen – 28th March – Killynether Wood – south facing niche in root collar

Marking the turning of the seasons is a old as as human life itself. Before there was writing stones set deep in the landscape marked out the critical turns of the year. Much of this has been lost with our modern world’s attempted disconnect from nature, but the turning year still influences our moods, fears and hopes. The coming of spring matters to all – even if only a precursor to barbecue season and summer holiday flights!

Visiting the a woodland spring Bluebell display is an annual ritual for many who hope to be lifted by the massed glory of a misty Bluebell host moving gently in the warming Spring sunshine. But when to go – what date to circle in the busy dairy? Nature doesn’t work that way so my answer is that it doesn’t matter at long as you are prepared to look and enjoy the spring which IS their.

Primrose and Celandine – Mount Stewart 2nd April

As the year progresses it in marked by a series of flowerings and changes. Snow Drops, Crocus, Primrose, Celadine, Wood Anemone, Word Sorrel, Bluebells. Look carefully – the flowers are there to see – often first on South facing slopes in sheltered nooks and hollows, like the Bluebell above in the root collar or the light smashing in the sunny south bank below.

Bluebell Bank Begins – Mount Stewart 2nd April

As the days and weeks pass and you find the early signs and changes the sense of new growth, return and renewal builds and gladdens. But then – almost inevitably – the wind swings to the North East and strengthens , the cold bites back, winter coats are retrieved, the outdoors seem bleak and uninviting. This is the time to keep faith, grab that coat and get back outside to the woods to savour this special in-between time. With leaves and ground cover not yet deployed the woods are full of light and exposed form, rock, soil and bird life. The Spring will come with Summer hard on its heals with different joys, but you will enjoy it all the more for having kept watch as the year turns!

Primroses festoon a Hill top fort – Mount Stewart 2nd April