The bluebells at Strelley

26 Apr

It’s that time of year. Yesterday my friends Heather …

… Tebay …

… and I motored out to Strelley, tucked between Ilkeston and DH Lawrenceland to the west, Nottingham to the east. Taking an unmetalled road that leaps the M1, southeast of Junction 26, we parked due north of Oldmoor Wood to take a clockwise amble on the route shown below.

We were a good ninety minutes in that tiny spinney. With the muted thrum of the M1 in our ears, a high sun to our backs, our eyes and lenses took in a woodland of shimmering blue.

Leaving the woods we skirted mud from recent heavy rains to pass through a gate for a gentle ascent to a ridge …

… there to follow an ancient bridleway lined with hawthorn and blackthorn, respectively decked out in white and fuzzily pale pink.

Around these parts blackthorn abounds. I’ll be back in late September for the sloes.

Were dents-de-lion  less prolific, wouldn’t we prize that pristine gold and boldness of form?

And similarly wonder at the iridescence of Mr Mallard?

But all Tebay wants to do, when not streaking through carpets of blue, is take a dust bath. Is he dog or sparrow?

Confluence of the Robinettes Arm, a spur off the Nottingham Canal, with its parent. Both are disused and mostly dried up

Back at the car. Coffee at Strelley Hall would be good but I have much to do.

A most perfect morning with good companions.

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10 Replies to “The bluebells at Strelley

  1. I grew up near Strelley. I remember every stream, wood, field and footpath around there because we would bike all around it whenever we could. This was long before the motorway was built and it was a magical place for us children to stay for the whole day eating sweets we’d bought from the little shop near the church, probably long gone, and cooking baked beans over a fire. And I owe those bluebells a great debt. Being brought up within a strict Irish Catholic family I thought the whole point of being alive was to follow the church, love God, die and get to heaven. Job done. One day, I was alone and lay down among the ancestors of those beautiful bluebells in your photos. A blackbird sang. Suddenly I was transported into an ecstatic connection with the nature all around me. It hit me – I loved life not the afterlife. And a great journey into coming alive began. Thank you for reminding me of that glorious afternoon when bluebells, trees, blackbirds singing and the buzzing of bees woke a young innocent girl out of her sleep.

    • Here’s to the soul restorative power of bluebells Anne!

      There’ll be much to talk about when finally the van and I get up to that part of Scotland you and your man now call home x

  2. Gorgeous pictures. Thanks for sharing, and my unqualified respect for managing to get photos of bluebells that look blue!

    Isn’t it strange that so many so-called patriots don’t give a fig for the real England, the landscape and its residents, and would gladly smother it it in concrete and brick to make themselves money. The country itself is what I love and what makes living worthwhile.

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