If you go down to the woods today…

With sunny skies and a few hours to spare between shifts at work on Friday, it was the perfect opportunity to hunt for bluebells in the grounds of Nanteos Mansion. Nestled between two small nature reserves, Old Warren Hill & Coed Penglanowen their ancient woodlands provide the perfect unspoiled habitat for numerous species including these iconic flowers.

A robin with a beak full of insects for her hungry chick, hiding in the undergrowth
A tiny bee feeding on flower pollen

Bluebells can be seen in bloom here from late April onwards, but to see them in all their glory you will need to hurry as their flowering season is a spectacular but brief event. For just a few weeks each spring these nodding blue stems carpet the forest floor, adding a splash of blue to a landscape dominated by green.

If you go down to the woods today…you’re sure to find bluebells, but you’ll have to be quick!
In the shadows of the tree canopy
Some of the flowers already beginning to wilt…
The bluebells distinctive tall nodding stems with flowers clustered on one side
A closer view

Leaving the shadows of the tree canopy behind, the exposed sunlit slopes of the nearby lake were also not short of bluebells, swaying gently in the breeze among a tangle of long grass.

Nanteos Lake
Bluebells carpeting the slopes of Nanteos lake
Bluebells with grass seed heads visible in the background
At the lake’s edge

Photographing the bluebells here was more challenging as I tried to isolate the blue flowers from the ‘clutter’ . By getting down low to the ground and using a shallow depth of field I was able to isolate some individual flowers with pleasing results.

Standing out from the crowd
Bluebell with curled petals
Beautiful complimentary colours of violet and green
A tangle of bluebells
Catching the sun’s rays
Bluebells & dandelions

In stark contrast to last spring, this year so far it has been colder than average and as a result there were still relatively few insects around. Fortunately I had also brought along my macro lens to capture those early pollinators. Bees like this striking orange-tailed mining bee rely on the bluebells’ nectar for food whilst many other flowering plants are still yet to emerge.

Orange-tailed mining bee, a first for me!

At first glance a very similar looking bee, this is a common carder bee one of the first species to emerge from hibernation. It uses it’s long tongue to probe deep into the narrow trumpets of the bluebell and reach the precious nectar concealed within.

A common carder bee

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All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography © 2021

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Mark S says:

    These are great! Thanks for sharing them.


    1. Claire Stott says:

      That is very kind, thank you


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