Bluebell flowers carpet the Hallerbos forest floor, Flanders, Belgium
© Jason Langley/plainpictur
A glimpse of the 'Blue Forest'
What color do you normally associate with a forest? Well, in the case of the Hallerbos forest of Belgium, that would be blue, for reasons you can clearly see here. For about 10 days every year, usually in late April or early May, this forest floor is transformed as bluebell hyacinths wake up from their winter slumber and carpet it in blue.
Even though it's a bit early for the fleeting blooms, today would be a good day to visit the 'Blue Forest,' for this is the day that the United Nations recognizes the International Day of Forests. The theme of this year's observance is reforestation, another thing that Hallerbos is known for. Large swaths of the ancient forest were destroyed by German occupying forces during World War I. After the war, the Belgian government planned an extensive reforestation project, which got underway in the 1930s. Within 20 years, Hallerbos was well on its way to being a healthy forest again, as the depleted native beech and oak trees were restocked.