Happy Summer, my friends!
It’s not the right time of the year to post long accounts. In the summer people usually browse magazines and look at pictures. So this article is about pictures, pictures of a special kind, older or newer attachements to my friend Nana’s blog posts, that may have passed unnoticed. The same as her blog as a whole, these pictures are not touristic neither do they aim to giving information about the island. All I may say about them is that they are thrilling and they have provided inspiration to a lot of viewers, and if I may say, a bit of motivation as well, and that not only concerning Ikaria but for all similar places of the world gifted with an exciting outdoors and a culture of freedom. Before I write a full blog review, I’ll stop and just say: it’s not pictures from my beloved Flickr that I look at when I am homesick for Ikaria. I look at these pictures. And when I have time, I click on the links and I also read the articles some of which go back to several years ago.
I encourage you to take the ride. It’s a wild ride, as wild and natural as our island. Sometimes the concept does not make sense, sometimes it does, sometimes there’s humor or doubt, puzzlement, even bewilderment. There is art and fun and yes, in some of them a visitor can find some tourist information too.
But this is not the point. The point is a strong, desicive and creative girl living and rambling in Ikaria and what she thinks about it all. Take a look yourselves and say if I am wrong.
Someone just asked. Yes, of course there will be a second part and maybe more to come. Nana to agrimi’s media library from Ikaria is big!.
-> the weather broadcast was right; the gale stopped during the night. At dawn the wind changed from south to north; clouds came from the sea and covered the northern part of the island. «Misty mountains» and deep gorges hidden in the fog :- wow -: I like this kind of weather. It makes me imagine I am in New Zealand ! I wish I could fly just for once only to take a panoramic photo of the side of the island: clouds on the mountain tops and stripes of mist in the gorges.
-> its raining; in fact it’s not; it’s spraying. Greek language proves very poor in terms of rain. They call this weather «very wet». I’m sure the English know better and they have a presice word for these crawling curtains of fog and swirling thin raindrops.
-> The gale was like «sandpaper». Now came the «very wet» (fog and spray) and there couldn’t be better weather for the vegetation. I saw my lettuces die yesterday then today I saw them live again. Lush new foliage shines on the trees. I think that the gale was useful («I’m swallowing ‘n swallowing»). There was so much dry dead stuff on the trees and the bushes and the gale removed it. Many old trees broke.
Sun comes now down through to the lighten and help grow the saplings. -> Felicia aborted; too young to have kitten. If she was human she would be 8 years old.
-> I’m wasting my time trying to take photos of thorny spurges. But I can’t. Spurges absorb the light like sponges. They are like «shadows». I take a photo and then instead of of the small round thorny bush, there is a green blur like a ball. The details disappear. I should have some super pro equipement and special spot lights to take a good photo of a spurge. Photographers who work with complicated hairstyles have that kind of equipement.
-> I have a fix for these plants. I believe they hold the island slopes in place so that they are not washed in the sea. I also love their texture. Outside they have a net of terrible and painful thorns and behind and inside this net there are very fresh tiny green leaves (+ small flowers!). They are usually oval and they look like «vegetable rocks». Under each one of them hide many fragile herbs and small bugs. They are the «poteria» (φρύγανα) and they are an «ecosystem» -one by one and many of them together as groups. I must find out how to transplant them. I’d put them along the sides of the digs and trenches the bulldozers make.
I heard that in Germany they take these as gardens. It’s very fashionable to have a mediterranean «poteria» garden around your villa instead of «gazon» (trop banal). After I retire (or before, why not) I may become a specialist in this: plant «sacropotera spinosa» gardens around villas. (They would give burglars a lot of trouble to cross, btw. I must take a notice of that for my marketing campaign -if & when..)
-> Nana, how much for the «La Fauve» painting? Wow girl ! What’s this? Ladies and Gentlemen, for your sake and pleasure I took the liberty to borrow and upload Nana’s portrait and buste in this entry. I don’t know what it is or how it’s made, but its 100% Nana «to agrimi» (=animal qui vit a l’etat sauvage), Athina, my friend.
** While I was writing this and trying to «swallow», I looked up at the sky (to let out my usual *big sighs* ) and what do I see:
THE FIRST SWALLOWS ARE HERE ~~~
El, I wondered if those were rocks or plants. Almost looks like moss-covered ruins in the background. The swallows, yes they came back here a couple weeks ago, the hummingbirds earlier and the warblers soon. Favorite swallow: purple martin; hummingbird: Anna’s; warbler: yellowthroat.
Monday April 10, 2006 – 06:08am (PDT)
A Doctor writes: Your «Yak» has had child. See Flickr. This will make you feel even more spring-like.
Tuesday April 11, 2006 – 08:37am (BST)
-> to Greg: I’m surrounded by birds, birds, birds, a couple of earthmovers (~sigh) and many many fresh dug terrasses with vineyards and gardens. There are two kinds of swallows, it seems. I understand now why ornithologists are a bit *nutsy*.
-> the Doctor takes pleasure in turning the knife in the wound.
Tuesday April 11, 2006 – 03:42am (PDT)
to Greg: I think that «my» spurges of Ikaria might look like those throrny srubs we see the wind roll and make fly in old «western» movies. How do you call?
Tuesday April 11, 2006 – 02:04pm (PDT)
Tumbleweed….we don’t have tumbleweed in England but we know all about the rain. Sounds like we would say «sheets of rain» from the conditions you describe…the Scots have a good word…Dreich … it would be ντρειχ in Greek tongue…that describes the kind of miserable soaking cold day. The swallows have come…and they sing…»
άνοιγ΄ άνοιγε ταν θύραν χελιδόνι
ου γαρ γέροντές έσμεν, αλλά παιδία. »
to quote a poet of the 7th century B.C.
«The swallows have come, Berlusconni has gone
Loudly sing «cuckou» »
To paraphrase an old English song.
Tuesday April 11, 2006 – 10:40pm (BST)
Sagebrush Elle, the dead ones rolling and blowing are called tumbleweeds. The desert on the east side of my state is covered with ’em.
Tuesday April 11, 2006 – 02:46pm (PDT)
Sorry to disagree Doc, but I call El’s rain mizzle.
Tuesday April 11, 2006 – 11:13pm (BST)
<<-terrific people->><<-terrific vocabularies->>
In my opinion, both «sagebrush» and «tumbleweed» are El’s thorny srubs, «astivi» (αστιβή) There are many kinds, all valuable in many ways. One of them hosts an edible herb inside it. It’s called «stamna-agathi» (Σταμναγκάθι). This herb makes a very expensive dish in fancy restaurants in Athens. This is the season for it, so El find it and take a photo. I hope it doesn’t «absorb light».
Wednesday April 12, 2006 – 01:05pm (EEST)
«mizzle» ! never heard that before! Another one for my «Derbyshire Dialect» collection. Thanks duck.
Wednesday April 12, 2006 – 07:53pm (BST)
«mizzle» is a nice word; I like «mmm» & «zzzz»s & «ll»s.
Thank you everybody. I’d rather look for the word in NewZealandese because the mizzle is not cold in Ikaria. It’s soaking wet and spooky and it makes you feel like bitting at someone’s throat.
Wednesday April 12, 2006 – 12:41pm (PDT)
I’m sure there are more wonderful words out there….!I would love to know the New Zealand equivalent. Drizzle is another word of similar meaning – but perhaps it sounds colder still, so not ideal. In case you were wondering, ‘duck’ is a Derbyshire endearment. ‘Aye up, me duck’ is a dialect way of saying ‘Hi there, love/ mate / pal» You sometimes hear a woman say it to another woman, but more commonly it is from a man to a woman in a friendly way. I had a boss once, who when he wanted me to do something always started his sentence with «Judy, duck,please could you…» So now, Eleni, you have a goat and a duck reading your blog, and the duck is especially happy that the swallows have arrived.
Wednesday April 12, 2006 – 11:00pm (BST)
«Papia mou» -so funny -:)) In place of «duck» in wet grassy places, I’d call you «kali mou» (=my good one or my pretty one) or cut short «kale». You must have heard that in Greek town streets. «kale Leni, stamata pia tis sahlamares…» =stop acting foolish (that’s for my blog -lol- created for and dedicated to ducks and goats, or I don’t love nobody and my scripts suck.)
Thursday April 13, 2006 – 12:25pm (PDT)