Along with the greens appear an impressive and ever-changing array of wildflowers. Tiny yellow radikia (related to dandelions) are the first to emerge after the first drops of rain, like they had been waiting just beneath the surface to poke their heads up for a drink. In the sheep pasture above our olive grove, fragrant saffron crocuses spring up in the most unlikely hard-trodden rocky places. They are followed by drifts of anemones (windflowers) in soft shades ranging from white to blue to pink to purple. Among those are great patches of brilliant white daisies.
Fluffy wild daffodils, planted by Giannis' father long ago, glow in the sunlight, their heady scent meandering along the drystone walls. Just as the anemones are becoming faded and tattered, up pop clusters of tiny grape hyacinths, so purple they are almost black. In the seasonal river gullies are pasxalia (Easter flowers), globular starry clusters scented like heaven. Almost everywhere stand tall white asphodels, the legendary flowers of the dead in the ancient Greek underworld. These pale beauties formed the garland crowning Hade's bride, Persephone.
Every day we hike down through a high mountain meadow to get to the edge of our property. Last week, on our evening walk back to the car, we were surprised to see the whole clearing covered with delicate purple irises. We hadn't seen even one on the way down in the morning. I guess they prefer the evening sun. And I musn't forget to mention the snowtufted blossoms adorning wild pear trees that stagger down the mountain like thorny lichen-covered trolls. I always say hello and pat my favorite as I pass it, anticipating it coming into full bloom so I can finally sit down and paint it, with the sea in the distant background. But that is another story.
|Wild Greek Saffron in November|
|The saffron likes to grow where the sheep have trodden|
|Little Nora amidst yellow radikia buttons|
|Anemos (Άνεμος) is Greek for wind; this is an anemone (windflower)|
|Daffodils (I think) planted by Giannis' father Giorgos|
|A few of our olive trees on the east side of the mountain|
|A wild pear overlooking Kolpos Geras, an inlet of the Aegean Sea|
|An unopened asphodel in the mountain meadow|
|Edible tamus communis in the river gulley (well, just don't eat alot of it)|
|Purple-black grape hyacinths|
|Petimezi and my favorite pear tree|
|A harvest of fresh wild greens to be made into savory pie|
|A sprinkling of daisies (in Greek they're called Margarites)|
|Pasxalia in the river gulley|
|Tiny irises (or they may be orchids) gracing the sheep pasture|
|A treeload of dark purple olives ready to be pressed into golden olive oil|