Archives for posts with tag: bluebells

Today is May Day – or Beltane. Both are festivals which celebrate the fact that summer is around the corner and the darkness of winter is finally past. We are now at the halfway mark between the spring and summer solstice: the evenings are longer and lighter and we are no longer waking up in the dark – so lots to be thankful for.

It might seem odd to be thinking of festivals during lockdown, but festivals are a good way of marking changes in the seasons. They give us pause to stop and take stock of where we are in our lives. It can be helpful to look outside, go for a walk and take time to notice how the trees and flowers are blooming, especially if you’ve been feeling low. 

Where I live, the bluebells are an intense blue now, the red campion has gone crazy and there are ox-eye daisies sprouting on the cliffs in places where you would not think a flower would be able to grow. I walked this way in the winter and had to hunch my shoulders against the howling wind and roaring sea and driving rain. It was a bleak and unforgiving place in winter. Today, it is warm and gentle and everything seems to be smiling down on me. I sat on the cliff this morning to write in my diary and thought how impossible that would have been in winter.

So, however bleak and unforgiving lockdown may be feeling for you right now (and believe me, it has done for me at times) try to take hope and comfort from the way Nature is celebrating the light and warmth. Nothing ever stays the same – there is always hope and new life around the corner. Nature knows this, and she’d like to show us if only we’d take a moment to stop, look and listen. Why not try doing that, this May Day?

 

Screenshot 2020-05-01 at 10.45.46

**

Nature Month-by-Month – a children’s almanac by Anna Wilson, illustrated by Elly Jahnz is published by Nosy Crow and The National Trust and is available to order online.

 

I must admit that this week has been tough. I have not found it easy to do anything, least of all write. A lot of my fellow writers have said the same: it is hard to concentrate at the moment. And I am sure you are feeling like this too if you are trying to do schoolwork and are sick of being indoors.

And then I heard a lovely snippet on the radio of a woman encouraging us to look more closely at the small things in life. She said that it would be good for us to focus and concentrate on something as everyday as a pebble or a leaf or a petal. She went on to say that if you look carefully and make yourself notice everything about the object, you will find yourself feeling calmer. She also suggested drawing the object, spending time trying to get all the details right.

So I went for a walk and took some photos of the lovely things around me.

I spotted this beetle on a rock. I love the way the sun is catching its shell. Drawing it was fun as I focussed on trying to get that lovely shine on its back. I think it is a Bloody-Nosed Beetle, judging from my spotter’s guide, but if you think it is something else, please let me know in the comments section!

IMG_4094

My spirits lifted this week when I saw how many beautiful wild flowers are starting to bloom. Look at this delicate bluebell unfurling:

Screenshot 2020-04-03 at 13.52.42

If you just walked by without looking closely, you might think that a bluebell is just purple, but when I looked carefully I saw that there was actually a shade of blue in those petals as well as more than one shade of purple.

And the pretty Common Dog Violets caught my eye:

Screenshot 2020-04-03 at 13.53.27

As did these Common Stitchwort:

Screenshot 2020-04-03 at 13.53.48

So if you are starting to get bored with the same old walks and activities, why not try changing your perspective by getting up close to some objects or flowers that you would normally walk right past without noticing? And have a go at drawing them. You might feel calmer as a result.

Whatever you do this weekend, stay safe and well.

**

Nature Month-by-Month – a children’s almanac by Anna Wilson, illustrated by Elly Jahnz is published by Nosy Crow and The National Trust and is available to order online.

Your local bookshop can take orders over the phone and post books out to you, too. Give them a call!