Tuesday, 21 February 2006

Mini Spring

Yes, you can forget the winter. It is spring on the island! The temperatures rose to at least 15°C! Now not only all inhabitants come out of the shadows, also all birds and flowers behave as at their Sundays best.

Now you drink your coffee outside and in a spot out of the wind you take your lunch. Everybody seems busy with cleaning and building. The fields are cleared of the olive nets, the olive presses will be closed in a little time, fields are ploughed and everybody is in a spring mood.

Walking though the fields you see many pink, purple and white anemones, we even found the first red one. The black grapes, dark blue on the underside, bright blue on the top have joined the party. Almond trees start being like a sweet scented pink cloud. Marigolds and marsh marigolds are colouring the grounds under the olive trees.

At some spots you will find wild scented daffodils. I know a place where there are plenty of them but no way will I explain where that is. I have learned my lesson, it is just the same as with the mushrooms or the white lilies. When you find a spot full of them and you think they are still too small or not flowering yet, there's a big chance that when you come back after a few days they will all be gone. Especially about the disappearance of the white lilies I can get very angry. For weeks you pass the plants with the growing buds and you are looking forward to their magical scent and beautiful flowers. On the day you think you can pick the first ones with opened flowers, you will find them all gone, even the ones which are not yet flowering. And now I speak about arms full of flowers and probably about somebody who sells them to the shops. So no way will I tell you my places.

It seems the real flower collectors do the same. The spots where the real special flowers are growing - and there seem to be many a rare flower on this island - are seldom or not communicated. Somebody even told me this week that there are people who are selling these rare flowers for a lot of money. So can you imagine, when there finally is a spring, but there are no more flowers...

For the moment there are still enough flowers, they are difficult not be seen. Although... When you walk and fix the ground - which can be difficult when there are superb views or on the unpaved roads you better keep an eye on the ground if you do not want to finish with your nose in the earth - you can discover the mini-flowers. These look like very small versions of a dandelion, a marigold, a daisy, or a red campion. It is not that they are ugly but they are pretty mini. And it is not that they are bonsai-versions of the above named flowers, they all have their own names and botanic families. The most beautiful is the mini-crocus (Romulea Linaresii) that you can find in some places. A very small version of the common crocus which looks pretty forwardly into the world. They are really too small to pick and make a bunch of them, but whenever you are used to those looks on the ground, you will discover a marvellous mini-world.

So hurrah for the spring. But the winter with its cold also had advantages: no insects. You did not have to look for an earwig in the bread, the nights were mosquito-free and taking a bite into an apple did not make you bump into an angry wasp.

With the rise of temperatures and the happy choruses of the birds you will hear the first zoomm sounds of the bees, there are already some colourfull butterflies in the air and you see sleepy spiders coming out of their holes. The mosquitos are back again to make your life difficult and I even had my first collision with a wasp. It is like winter never happened.

When nature starts awakening, you will remember why you had to tie the knot so hard in the bag with the bread, why you had to close so well the jar with sugar, why you do not open your window without it being protected by a screen, why you hammered on your shoe before putting it on. So help, the insects are coming again! The winter quietness is over.

Copyright © Smitaki 2006

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