Bluebell Woods

Insects, Landscapes, Plants and flowers



One of the most classic moments in the English spring season has to be the emergence of bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta). They flower early, making the most of the light before the emerging leaves of the tree canopy prevent  much from reaching them.

In West Sussex right now they are at the peak of the display with some still budding and very few having gone past their best. All these images are from my favourite location – some beech woods near me. The shot above shows a rarer mutation, a whitebell, amongst the carpet of bluebells.

Technical Details:

Equipment, Canon 6D, 100-400 mm lens at 400mm, tripod.

Exposure: ISO 400, 1/60″ f5.6,


The conditions were perfect with hardly any wind and light cloud cover with brief sunny periods. These beech woods were flattened thirty years ago by a storm but are now resplendent again. For the two shots above and below I used a 100mm lens on a tripod and a narrowish aperture to give some foreground blur. (ISO 800, 1/750″ f4).


This final shot of the morning was a real bonus. This tiny fly, only about a centimetre long, was just resting on the bluebell in the cool of the early morning. (100mm macro lens at 1:1, tripod, focusing rack, mirror lock, ISO 1600, 1/20″ f11).


The detail from the macro lens and camera sensor is fantastic. Here’s a heavy crop of the insect. All in all, what a wonderful morning!

-2447centre detail crop