Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Bluebells- A Fine Excuse To Pause Revision, & Insomnia In Teens

Did I mention that I have an exam in a fortnight?

I've been revising Like Mad today, in between washing the towels, taking L who is home with a sore eye to the nurse, getting essentials from Waitrose (french bread, strawberry jam, muffins, hot chocolate) and baking some chocolate chip buns to take L's mind off the sore eye (a small stye, as it turns out).

He's been having huge problems sleeping of late, poor lad. He's always been a bit of a night owl (as was I at that age) but over the last few months his sleep rhythm has shifted considerably and at the moment he can't go to sleep till 2am and then can't wake till 11am. Teenagers need between 8-9 hours sleep a night.

Apparently, this shift in sleep patterns is not at all uncommon in teenagers- their circadian rhythm alters to a later production of melatonin (the sleep hormone) which means they can't sleep until the level of melatonin in their bodies is high enough. 

In adults, melatonin levels usually begin to rise about 9pm, and within two hours there's enough of it in the body to make us feel sleepy. Melatonin production only happens at night when it's dark, and it drops sharply after twelves hours when, for most of us, the natural light of day has returned. But in teenagers it doesn't kick in until much later, and as a result, teenagers are frequently on a different sleep/ wake pattern to adults. Add to this that most teens stare at artificial light sources (TV, computer, mobiles) until late into the night, and you can see how it complicates things for them.

Yesterday, I did a load of research and printed out a sheet for L with useful suggestions to help train your body back into natural restful sleep (thankfully reinforced by the nurse this morning), and he did take heed of it last night by turning the TV and computer off early and going up to bed to read and listen to music. It's going to take time to reset his patterns but I'm really hoping things will start to settle down for him soon. School is increasingly demanding and they are exposed to so much pressure these days in so many ways. We live quiet, simple, peaceful lives here, but even so you can't always block everything that's of a noisy and distracting nature out.

Anyway, back to the revision.... Having written up the history of conservation in GB over the last hundred years and started to look at human influences on EU biomes, I have decided a break is in order, to refresh my brain and prevent it from exploding, so you're getting a post on Bluebells today :o)

On Sunday, I dragged M and the dogs to Great Copse to look at the Bluebells. Great Copse is part of an ancient wood (circa at least 1600 but probably much, much older) and as such it boasts one of the thickest, bluest carpets of bluebells you are likely to see. They are Very Fine, and I always visit them at this time of year.

Last year, Casey over in the States was inspired to write one of those Japanese short poem thingies (the name escapes me right now, which is all the evidence I need that any further revising today is pointless), when he saw one of the photos of the wood. I wonder who they will inspire this year?








 
Glorious, no?

While there, we also saw this Very Small who landed on my arm (not liking the way my skin looks like an elephant's hide close up AT ALL)....


And a St Mark's Fly at rest (they are everywhere at the mo- flying about with their big dangly legs hanging in the air beneath them)....


Once we got home with the sun still shining I popped round the garden with camera in hand to record how everything was doing. The high winds and rain of the past two days has knocked it all about a bit since then....





Top pic: our beautiful Camellia (have been promising her I'd get a good piccy and put it on the blog for ages, because last year she was over-crowded and couldn't muster any enthusiasm for flowering at all but now, since we took all the scrub down that was growing too close to her, she's blossomed like mad, bless her cottons).
2nd pic: Dock Bug on Sorrel, 3rd pic: Red Damsel resting on the lily leaf and 4th pic: white violas for my moths.

I'll leave you with a pic of the world as seen by Teddy...



Wishing you all a Peaceful Evening, full of Good Sleeps,

CT :o)

27 comments:

  1. Beautiful bluebell pics, they look stunning

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    1. They are particularly vibrant this year I think.

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  2. Lack of sleep is not a condition my teenager is suffering from at present, yet! I hope his sleep pattern returns soon. Ohhh good luck with the revision & I snorted at the elephant skin, I was counting wrinkles earlier on today! Glorious photos of the bluebells, I do so like to see them out in the wild. I will try & get out at the weekend for a stroll by some. Take care x

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    1. I think ours are just starting to tip over, so don't leave it too long. I shall be avoiding any skin close ups like the plague in future.... :o) xx

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  3. Oh the bluebells are glorious! That blue has to be my favourite colour. If only it could be reproduced and made into the most wonderful of dresses - but we can never really replicate that colour! Nature always does things best.
    And I love Teddy's view of the world - beautiful through his eyes.
    I hope L's sleep improves - poor chap! xxxLily

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    1. I love that blue too. I often find myself thinking 'if only' about flower colours and fabrics. You're right though- we could never reproduce it as well as nature does. Lovely catching up earlier xx

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  4. The bluebells are just lovely.

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    1. Aren't they. I could stare at them for hours... :o)

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  5. Hey CT,
    A St Marks Fly. I've seen these everywhere too. What a wonderful name. I don;t think I'll forget that in a hurry. Olly and me are hoping to see the bluebells at Tehidy on Friday. Poor love has now come down with a cold that has left him coughing himself awake, and feeling rather washed out, poor thing.
    Alfie is having similar problems with his sleeping pattern at the moment. He is growing like a weed and has pains in his legs too. I try to get him to have a 'quiet hour' before bed, but he's quite resistant....
    Leanne xx

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    1. Poor old Olly- miserable for him. Hope he's not too itchy now? Poor Alfie too- L is also shooting up, although mercifully no growth pains- he suffered terribly with them when he was littler. Another couple of years and all this will be behind them (and us), eh?! xx

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  6. How clean and white and superbly fluffy your little doglet is. Breathtaking photos of the bluebell wood, they really are one of the loveliest things. A fascinating piece about teenagers and melatonin levels. I'm taking notes for future reference. I do hope L is able to sleep better soon. I always find I sleep much better when I've had a decent amount of exercise. Otherwise I wake up far too early. Maybe I need a dog to walk... CJ xx

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    1. I agree about exercise. I sleep well after a run. Unfortunately, my teenager seems to be allergic to the thought of exercise at home, although he pays footie with his mates at school... :o)

      Glad you enjoyed the bells- a magical site in any wood I always think, and yes! Definitely get a doglet! xx

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  7. Your bluebell photos are wonderful! I can't believe the concentration of flowers in the woods!

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  8. The bluebells are glorious this year adn these are fabulous shots of them. I love the back shot of your dog and all the best with your rexisiopn and your exam in 2 weeks time.

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    1. They do seem especially thick and vibrant this spring :o)

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  9. Like all of the above, I'm in love with those bluebells! I'm lucky enough to have my own mini swathe in my garden. We live in what was the HG Great Grandmother's house. So the plants we have are roughly 60-110 years old. These are three different kinds of peonies, a mini swathe of Bluebells, a what I call Rhubarb and Vanilla honeysuckle and a winter jasmine. I don't think these have any sentimental hold for the HG but I love the fact that these have been here as long as or almost as long as my house!

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    1. Your garden sounds fabulous! You should post some piccies :o

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  10. I could sit and look at those beautiful bluebells all day. :-)

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    1. I did spend quite a lot of time up at the woods.... :o)

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  11. Well that explains it all, will not give my son such a hard time about staying up to late :)
    The Bluebells look stunning..
    Amanda xx

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    1. It does seem to affect a lot of teens :o)

      I think the bluebell are made all the more special because they aren't here all year xx

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  12. Bluebell photos are lovely - cannot help but brighten the day :) Being a night owl myself have some sympathy with L - just been having a row with my husband about it all as he is a morning lark!!

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    1. They are lovely things that really life the spirit- just looking at them is a tonic :o) L will be glad of your empathy! x

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  13. Amazing sight, you can't beat the British bluebell woods! We don't have anything like that over here. Beautiful. :-)

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    1. I didn't realise you didn't have bluebells in France. I would miss them if we didn't see them every Spring xx

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    2. Well we have them, just not wild and they are the Spanish bluebells. Having said that, I do have them growing wild in my mini woodland, but not in huge amounts like this. But still nice to see a few, and they do spread/self seed. :-)

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x