Symi: habitats and wildlife

I’m continuing to trek around the infrequently trodden parts of Symi and continuing to be surprised by the variety of colourful plant life.  It’s not in great swathes like on other islands I have visited in Spring but the number of plants coming into flower is either increasing or my eyes are becoming more attuned and seeing things for the first time.

More Spring colour to follow but I thought I would focus on the some of the beasties roaming around this colourful landscape.  As plants come into flower so the new habitat is accompanied by wildlife working through necessary stages in its life-cycle.

Most dramatic and easily photographed have been the tortoises Testudo Graeca’.  I have seen them wandering around on previous visits to Greece but they have seemed to put in only a rare appearance.  This time I have seen three large specimens already.  Again, it’s one of the advantages of walking in sandals and watching where you put your feet.  The third one I saw was on ‘The Other Steps’ from the harbour up to Horio, the Cataractis.  Far less used than the better known Kali Strata, and not subject to a cleaning and weeding programme for Easter, at this time of year they are covered in vegetation and bouncing down one day I nearly trod on a large tortoise ambling across below one of the risers.

Filling the width of the narrow path to Pedi and seeing no need to give way

Filling the width of the narrow path to Pedi and seeing no need to give way

Thery mvoe around on their points like ballerinas ..... but with none of the grace

Thery mvoe around on their points like ballerinas ….. but with none of the grace

Taking a look at my rucksack

Taking a look at my rucksack

Retreating to a shady hole in the rocks .

Retreating to a shady hole in the rocks .

There have also been an increasing number of butterflies flitting around the plants, especially so as the oregano is starting to come into flower.  None of the dramatic Scarce Swallowtails or Greek Streamertails as yet, that is a pleasure to come.

Meeting up for a chat?

Meeting up for a chat?

Outlined with the sun behind

Outlined with the sun behind

On oregano with pollen covering the body and  lower wings

On oregano with pollen covering the body and lower wings

Very relaxed

Very relaxed but keeping an eye open

Other creatures home in on the oregano as it suddenly provides a platform for all kinds of activity, all of which helps pollination and so set seed.

Some creatures seem to be content to sit onthe oregano in the sun

Some creatures seem to be content to sit onthe oregano in the sun

Others do what comes naturally in the Spring

Others do what comes naturally in the Spring

Trying to get in on the act

Trying to get in on the act

It's getting a bit crowded here, think I'll ry my luck on the next flower head

It’s getting a bit crowded here, think I’ll ry my luck on the next flower head

A walk up to the permanent pond at Gria on the mountain above Pedi at first seemed to have hit on a time with no wildlife at all.  However, a little patience becoming part of the rocks lining the edge, was rewarded by shots of a number of dragonflies, lizards and a bird coming for a bath.

Momentarily settled on a rock just below me at the water's edge

Momentarily settled on a rock just below me at the water’s edge

Large and colourful with a liking for the rusty fence in the water

Large and colourful with a liking for the rusty fence in the water

Synchronised egg laying

Synchronised egg laying

Reflected egg laying

Reflected egg laying

Coming down to the water's edge

Coming down to the water’s edge

So close to me I thought its next step was onto my leg

So close to me I thought its next step was onto my leg

Escaped a predator (probably a bird of prey) by leaving its ail behind.  I will grow a new one eventually

Escaped a predator (probably a bird of prey) by leaving its ail behind. I will grow a new one eventually

Another dragonfly settles briefly

Another dragonfly settles briefly

.... and then a bird comes for a bath

…. and then a bird comes for a bath

93x

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