Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Flora among the bluebells

Bluebells are one of our most beautiful and ephemeral sights. For a matter of a couple of weeks you look between the trees and there they are, carpeting the woodland floor with a haze of blue. The smell they give off is an intoxicating whiff of hyacinth mixed with something altogether earthier. Going into a wood full of bluebells I always feel I've seen something unexpected and precious, even if they do return each year without fail.

I went up to the woods a few weeks ago and the bluebells were at their best. Seen from a distance they looked like a cloud of purple blue suspended just above the ground but close up I could see each delicate, individual plant as I inhaled their heady scent. I went again yesterday with Flora, hoping to share with her their beauty. They are still there, not quite as abundant as before and probably coming to the end of their days. Where do they hide I wonder?

I decided to take a photo of Flora, literally among the bluebells (despite the risk of her getting earwigs down her back) and convinced her to lie on the ground like Millais' Ophelia, surrounded by the flowers. I am no photographer and tend to point, shoot and hope for the best so I was astonished at what a beautiful photo resulted.

I captured two precious and ephemeral things; the bluebells and my daughter's eleventh year. The bluebells will return as they always do but Flora will never be eleven again so this serendipitous photo is a special gift for me.

No comments: