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Belleek’s blue haze returns

That lovely blue haze returned to Belleek Wood at Easter. The bluebells in bloom along the Fairy Trail burst into life at the first hint of spring warmth.

A flood of native bluebells hazed the vista in a misty blue cloud along the winding forest trail; a scene that spoke of a timeless and magical place.

“Everything is purple over there,” cried out a little lad, at first sight of the bluebell mist, as he scampered along the shady trail with his friends. His surprise echoed my own childhood memories of encountering this delightful woodland scene.

Bluebells along the Fairy Trail in Belleek Wood. Photo: Anthony Hickey

Early morning is the best time to see the bluebells of Belleek Wood when shadow and beams of sun rays, filtering down through newly-opened beech and sycamore leaves, combine to create a kaleidoscope of shades, colours, and patterns.

The shadowed floor of the woodland’s brown carpet of dead leaves contrasted beautifully with the vivid and faded blues of the bluebells and the vibrant yellows and greens of the clumps of star-like lesser celandine.

The drooping flowers of Belleek Wood’s native bluebells. Photo: Anthony Hickey

Celtic mythology has it that Fionn and his men were put asleep with a mixture of bluebell and tormentil by GrĂ¡inne before she eloped with Diarmuid.

Native bluebells are a sign of ancient woodland and this spring show of blue has delighted visitors to Belleek Wood down the generations.

Further along the trail, the sloping banks of the burial mound, on top of which sits the eerie mausoleum of the once local landlord, echoed the cheerful sounds of inquisitive school children enjoying their Easter break.

Garlanded in bluebells, the final resting place of Sir Francis Arthur Knox-Gore. Photo: Anthony Hickey

Garlanded in bluebells, the monument that is the final resting place of Sir Francis Arthur Knox-Gore, who died on the 21st of May 1873, was designed by the famous Irish architect, J.F. Fuller (1835-1924).

By Anthony Hickey

Follow writer and photographer, Anthony Hickey, as he travels around his native Co. Mayo, Ireland.