BLUEBELLSDanKitwood:Getty

A meditation on the blue-bells of the English woodlands, copses and valleys where I was lucky enough to grow up:

But there is another quality that makes the bluebell magical: it is in a hurry. The flowers have to beat the closing over of the tree canopy and their rush to become themselves is what makes them taut and glossy, with so much damp in them that you can't rub one bluebell leaf past another. The mineral green leaves cling to each other, like wet flesh to wet flesh. It doesn't last. As soon as they are perfect, they are over. Within a couple of weeks, the entire population will be drowned as if a flood has run through the wood. Now is the moment: it's when spring turns into summer.

(Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty.)

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