I must have blogged here over the last however-many-years I've been running this website that I have a lifelong-fascination with woodlands. It's more of an addiction, to be honest.
Woodlands are genuinely where I feel most at home. Where I feel most at ease. Where I feel most relaxed and yet also where I feel most alert and alive too.
I spent A LOT of my youth in local woods, watching badgers, foxes, owls, deer etc - and that includes all-nighters, alone - something that most "normal" people would probably find terrifying.
To be honest, I've spent quite a lot of my adult life walking around woods too - without being too pretentious (I hope), it's almost PRIMAL with me - an attraction to woodlands. It's genuinely like the woods are my home. I feel FAR more comfortable in a wood, for example than a house. And when I was shift working in the 90s, I regularly slept, hidden in a local wood during the day, rather than go back to my HMO (at the time) and try to sleep there.
I know. I know. Ridiculous eh? It's just ONE of the thing even my closest friends find a little strange about me!
Right. Now that that's all said - these days, with a wife, two boys, a few animals and a mortgage - I can't enjoy woods as I used to, for hours and hours and hours on my own - but I DO try to lead the family to a suitable, beautiful local piece of woodland each April (or May) to see the spellbinding display of British bluebells.
I say "British" bluebells, as we, in Britain have something like 126% of all British bluebells in the whole of the Britain. Or something like that.
The wood that I've been taking the family to for the past seven years has been hacked to pieces over the winter. And I mean that. Dozens of trees have been illegally felled. We don't know who by nor why. A real, dreadful shame.
This is what it USED to look like (below) - but I'm afraid to say it doesn't look like this any more...
So this year, I had to find another wood.
Which I did.
And to be honest, it's even better than the old wood certainly much more extensive (in terms of area (acres) and indeed pure number of bluebells) - and it's nearer too.
I'll not write any more on this blog - I'll just leave you with a few images I shot yesterday on our annual bluebell pilgrimage.
Happy Easter, grapple fans.