April 23, 2016

Bluebells at Harcourt Arboretum

By In Wallingford and Oxfordshire

To the Harcourt Arboretum this morning for a few hours wandering around the bluebell wood. The results were, well, a tad mediocre. The Arboretum doesn’t open until 10am, so little chance of early morning light having a role to play. And the weather was variable too with lots of cloud with the occasional bright burst of sunlight. I tried out an old £25 Ebay purchase that I hardly use – a manual focus 50mm lens that is stuck on f1.4 – and while the results are fine, it does give a nice creamy out of focus background the chopped off leaves and the frond on the left (talking about the first photo below) annoys me somewhat. The panorama shot I like, although the bluebells are rather obscure.

Photo Gallery : Bluebells at Harcourt Arboretum

Bluebell sap was once used to bind pages into the spines of books. Bronze Age people used bluebell ‘glue’ to set feathers onto arrows (fletching) while crushed Bluebell bulbs were provided the starch for the ruffs of Elizabethan collars and sleeves.

According to folklore, one who hears a bluebell ring will soon die! Legend also says that a field of bluebells is intricately woven with fairy enchantments.

All plant parts contain glycosides and are poisonous. The sap can cause contact dermatitis.

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