Hallerbos, covered in bluebells

Photo: Menno Schaefer/Shutterstock

Every spring, a fairytale-like carpet of wild bluebells engulfs the floor of the Hallerbos, a 1,360-acre forest located in Halle, Belgium. These little flowers begin to bloom just as the leafy canopy above begins to reform.

Although the blooms found in the Hallerbos are particularly striking due to the sheer density, bluebell woods are a fairly common phenomenon that occurs most often in the ancient woodlands of western Europe. An woodland is considered "ancient" if it has continuously existed undeveloped since the 1600s or earlier. In North America, an analogous term would be an "old-growth forest."

Also known as the Blue Forest, Hallerbos is so surreal that you might think you've stepped into a dream, but rest-assured, you're just 30 minutes south of Brussels!

Bluebells surround a dead log in Hallerbos

Photo: piotreknik/Shutterstock

Sun shines over a carpet of bluebells in Hallerbos

Photo: Menno Schaefer/Shutterstock

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Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.