Saturday, 25 April 2015

The Bluebell Woods

It's about three years since I was shown the Bluebell Woods and every year at this time I think about going there. I didn't pay very close attention to how you got there so it was an adventure! You know, the sort where you go: "Come on! I'm sure it's down this little road," and a rearguard of piglets squeals reluctantly along saying they want to go home, LOL. 

Actually the way to get there is a not very visible footpath on the North-Eastern side, close to the roundabout at the junction of Rhiwbina Hill and Pantmawr Road. The path runs down to a footbridge over a stream. Opposite is a lovely hillside just made for dog walking and picnics. (This is not a wheelchair accessible walk, and best done with children who no longer need a pushchair.)

There isn't parking, as such, nor anywhere to leave the bikes (which is how we had got there - that accounted for some of the squealing: my legs hurt, I'm ti-ired). We took the bikes down the little path and locked them all together by the stream. 

Our picnic on the hillside was enlivened by friendly passing dogs trying to join us. After we had proved victorious, and fed, I lured the piglets on by saying since we had come that far, we might as well look around before going home. My own piglet said that she had had a look and there was nothing but I was obdurate, and my lack of confidence in her ability to identify the start to long walks was justified by the sight of a wooden post with faded arrows among the blackberry bushes, pointing towards the footbridge over the motorway. I love watching motorway traffic go by, which is why I particularly wanted to go that route to the Bluebell Woods. (I also saw a whole bank of cowslips on the hillside into which the motorway is cut.)

Over the footbridge, we wended through some hedges and there was a meadow with the woods at its farther edge. The woods were full of bluebells and many other flowers: violets, anemones, celandines.

"No no, you go on Mum. 
We'll catch you up, honest."

One thing we couldn't find was wild garlic. I was surprised and disappointed, as I'd specially bought some Parmesan and nuts that morning to make wild garlic pestou. But I felt that at least I'd managed to drag the piglets out to see the bluebells, which was the main aim. They blow over so quickly and I knew that if we didn't make it out this luckily sunny afternoon, that would be it for another year.

On the way back, right by the footbridge over the stream, what should I see but a whole shimmering colony of wild garlic starred with white flowers. The piglets laughed heartily to think we'd looked all through the woods for some and it was just growing right there.

I was very pleased that I'd worn my wellies and could wade in the stream to pick a couple of handfuls of tender young leaves, although not quite so pleased when I realised my right wellie has a leak in it and so I shall have to buy some new ones.

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