Take a walk in Blue Bell Woods listen to the sounds around you, of bird song and bees. Smell the flowers and the scent of Spring in the air. Every year is a new beginning and every day a blessing

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

English Springtime.....

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

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I always think of home at this time of year. While we are under a blanket of snow here in Michigan. I know that at home things are moving on to Spring. The wildflowers begin to pop. The Snowdrops come up through the snow and the daffodils begin to bud. Primroses bloom in the hedgerows. The first flowers I remember in Spring were Violets and I can still see those, tight little buds snug to the earth among their leaves, not big enough yet to pick. My friend Sylvia and I would go looking for Violets, we knew all the places to look and it was magic when we found some.
When I think of the places we loved to play we would pick branches of Pussy Willow and Lambs Tails.
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With that I would remember the birds nesting. We would watch and wait and hope to see the eggs followed by babies. As a lot of kids back then did I collected Birds Eggs. We would know we must only take one and leave everything undisturbed. The eggs would be "blown" and added to our collection. We could name all the birds (and animals and flowers and trees) because we practically lived outside in the fields and woods. We knew the hedgerows and who lived there. The Hedgehog and Badger. The Fox and very rare where I lived the deer. Although we were not far from Woburn Abbey where the Duke of Bedford keeps herds of Fallow deer and rare Peire David's Deer. Sometimes they would escape and live wild in the fields. I was lucky enough to see some in the fields but could not Identify them.
The same thing happens up on Dunstable Downs where the Whipsnade Zoo is located. It is quite frequent that you may see a Wallaby hopping on by. I think they like to get out but go back at supper time. Just a guess because they are not seen far from the fences.
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Cowslips are another favourite of mine, and for me were actually found in the cow pastures mostly. I hear that so many of these wild flowers are becoming rare. Maybe it's time for the powers that be to take it upon themselves to plant them to keep them going. Many of the large fields and woods full of Daffodils were planted hundreds of years ago purposely. It's one of the beautiful things about an English Springtime. Wild daffodils at Farndale, had been planted by the monks from Rievaulx Abbey over 500 years ago. I am sure many things were planted at homes and farms that have long gone, yet the flowers keep on blooming in more modern fields and hedges.
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We went home one year in May and I remember being filled with sheer joy at seeing the woodlands full of Bluebells, the blue sky above and the lime green of the Beech woods. I know I felt like crying I loved it so much. There is nothing quite like that beauty and I always love it if I am watching a movie and it shows scenes with Bluebells.
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There is nothing quite like the English hedgerows. Some are ancient. They don't just grow the way they are, they are moulded by the farmers who own the land or farm the land, that's a different story but they shelter some amazing wildflowers and the critters that live on them.
I have to also mention the Spring lambs, always a joyful sight. The jump and frolic in fields of buttercups and daisies.
I miss my beautiful England all the time, but mostly in the Sprintime..


NanaDiana said...

I felt like I was on a walk along with you in your beloved English countryside, Janice. What a wonderful story of childhood and homeland. The small sweet violets are my favorite small spring flower. We also had May flowers which we always picked the first day of May. They look like sweet violets but are different colors.

My English grandfather had hedgerows on the family farm in PA. I loved to walk along that line to the back pastures...and it had a wealth of small wildlife hidden within.

Beautiful post. xo Diana

Susie said...

I loved reading about your England childhood. I truly love daffodils in groups. It's nice to see the first flowers of spring. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Ooh Janice, I have just posted about our daffodils in bloom, and even used my favorite Wordsworth poem to go along with it.....
I guess the very sight of a host of daffodils, especially here in the middle of February stirs our English souls :)
Beautiful memories, there is nothing quite like our Sceptered Isle in Springtime.

Magic Love Crow said...

Such a beautiful post Janice! Big Hugs!