Woke up this morning and embraced by spring bird calls, I stepped out for an earnest run around our small woodland and lake.
I had been hesitant to go out for a run due to a persistent knee problem, which started about three years ago. I have never liked running, but managed to find a rhythm running on sand in December 2015 as a form of relaxation and therapy. Unfortunately in 2017 during a run on the Tarka trail, something went in my left knee as I was running on a camber, and it’s never been the same since. After many attempts (and pain) it’s time to try again today.
My first stop as I’m walking towards the woods would be to say hello to Mary, the lovely dark horse in the paddock. She is super inquisitive, and would very often watch us when we are preparing dinner in the kitchen.
As I approached the little wooded area, it was as if the trees were calling out to me. To be in the presence of my favourite beings on the planet with their peaceful, unassuming manner brings me joy as they reach out with a song of their own. A jog around the lake challenged my heart rate as it steadily climbed from a rested low to an aerobic high. As one foot went in front of the other my senses took in the bird song that reverberated around, dipping and diving bird displays following suit. Sunlight reflected off the surface of the water like diamonds, dazzling and mesmerising. As I circled into the woods where light dappled on the ground, I decided to follow a different path; this was to be the delight of the day!
Out of the blue I stumbled upon a modest but glorious display of Spring’s finest flowers – Bluebells.
I made a mental note to come back as soon as I’d finished my run, which wasn’t long as discomfort in my knee crept in. However the thought of seeing those bluebells again spurred me on for a bit longer. When I finally had the chance to examine them close-up, I noticed there were three different colours: pink, white and purple. Although these were most certainly Spanish bluebells and hybrids (upright stems with flowers circling the stem), I was still pleased to be greeted by an array of spring colours.
Did you know that almost half of the world’s bluebells are found in Britain? Native bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) are ancient woodland indicators, and although a high percentage of bluebells are native in this country, there is a significant percentage of Victorian-introduced Spanish bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica), which many say dilute the gene pool as they hybridise quickly with native bluebells. Personally I believe that with evolution many species constantly hybridise; we cannot fully quantify the extent and speed of new species and hybrids appearing right under our noses so why not simply love all of nature? Yes, being a hybrid is being different, and unless these non-native species grow out of hand – jeopardising the very existence of native species – I think we can surely find a small corner in our hearts to appreciate their beauty nonetheless.
With increased fragmentation of our woodlands and the effects of economic development, bluebells are also affected by environmental and climate changes. They certainly need conserving, before we lose these lush violet and blue carpets symbolising spring and bringing about such beauty in these tough times.
In the language of flowers, the bluebell is a symbol of humility, constancy, gratitude and everlasting love.– Woodland Trust