This photo of a tiny Scarlet Elf Cup was taken in Snowdrop Valley near Wheddon Cross on Exmoor, one of Somerset’s magical places. During February every year the floor of the valley is covering in thousands of beautiful snowdrops.
The snowdrops were apparently introduced into the valley in the 13th century by monks from nearby Dunster as a symbol of Candlemas (2nd February), the feast of the purification of the Virgin Mary. The Scarlet Elf Cups are only the size of a 20p piece and litter the valley floor growing on damp wood and within the leaf litter.
I find woodlands area fantastic place to shoot in; there’s so much texture and colour that can be found, even in the smallest of muddy corners. As these are English woodlands, it stands to reason that it was quite damp, so there was plenty of opportunities to get some close up detail of the mossy world of the woodland.
If you’re interested in visiting, Snowdrop Valley is privately owned and to reach it you have to trek down (and consequently back up) a very steep path. Helpfully the locals provide a park and ride service from the car park of the Rest and Be Thankful Inn in Wheddon Cross. This costs around £4 and is well worth it, but be warned, the last bus is usually around 4pm. I took the last bus down so the walk back took a lot longer than anticipated.
- Some facts about snowdrops (the-stuff-i-like.com)
- The Snowdrop Becomes the Page of Cups (janetboyer.typepad.com)