Piscatorial Quagswagging

...the diary of a specialist angler in around the Warwickshire Avon and its tributaries.

Sunday 16 May 2021

The Close Season Zander Quest Pt.206 - Bluebells and Blennophobia

Now the sight and scent of a bluebell woodland is a joy I look forward to every year. In late April and through most of May, bluebells cast a haze of enchantment, beguiling our senses and persuading us to believe once more in magic. In the village I live we are lucky that a wood we discovered in the first lockdown is awash with them, a huge carpet blanketing the ground. 

Until the 1970s, the bluebell’s Latin name was Endymion non-scriptus (it is now Hyacinthoides non-scripta). In Greek legend, Endymion was a beautiful but mortal youth who was lulled into an eternal sleep by his lover, the moon goddess Selene, so that he would never grow old and die.

In folklore, bluebells were said to ring when fairies were summoning their kin to a gathering; but if a human heard the sound, it would be their death knell. 

Not surprisingly, it was considered unlucky to trample on a bed of bluebells, because you would anger the fairies resting there. There’s an interesting belief that wearing a garland of bluebells will induce you to speak only the truth.

The bluebell is present everywhere in Britain except Orkney and Shetland, and its range extends across western Europe from central Spain to the Netherlands. 

The UK contains up to 49% of the world’s population of bluebells; although they are threatened by habitat loss, a number of large-scale planting schemes are helping to combat the decline.

The bluebell is one of the ‘indicator species‘ of ancient woodland, meaning woods that have been in existence since at least 1600; the Woodland Trust considers that some bluebells may even mark remnants of the original wildwood that covered Britain after the last Ice Age.

The bluebell is the flower of St George, as it usually starts to bloom around St George’s Day on 23rd April. Its sap was once used in bookbinding because it would repel attacks by insects, and in early times it was also used to glue the feathers on the shaft of an arrow.

All parts of the bluebell plant contain toxins, and the leaves have been known to cause digestive problems in cattle and horses. Touching its sap may cause dermatitis. 

Now talking about digestive problems, the spinach mushroom and paneer curry I'd eaten the evening before really was repeating on me for some reason and the solitude and sanctuary of the nearby canal was most welcome to the whole of the Newey household especially the one I share a bed with.

The rain was on and off throughout the short session but enough time to winkle out a Zander or two. I'd gone completely the other direction to the tefal head and there is always Zander when it's coloured especially when there is cover in patches here. 

4 graced the net and I lost one that dropped off, the biggest a roach head under 5lb and one of the best condition Zander I've ever caught. It gave me a merry old dance as well down the canal, who says they cannot fight ? 

There were signs of them spawning in one of the swims, this a completely different canal network to where I've been fishing recently. 

Its nice to know they are still here in numbers as I was getting worried for a while, Next week is going to be busy and I'm meeting up with a mate for a curry and a beer INSIDE, I tell you INSIDE, but hopefully I'll get up to the hallowed swim Thursday and fish in to dark again, Wire traces as the ready !!!!


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...