Symi: the end of Spring

A wet winter and a cool spring made for an even more than usually vivid display of colour and life on Symi, the island reputed to be the hottest and driest in Greece.  In the summer months it is bleached and barren, a hot rock, so coming into May with vegetation starting to crisp up ever more rapidly, the remaining colours of Spring seem even more vibrant, animal life more manically active before hiding from the life-sapping heat.

Scarce Swallowtail on a cornflower growing in the top of a wall, backlit by early morning sun

Scarce Swallowtail on a cornflower growing in the top of a wall, backlit by early morning sun

 Oertzeni lizards, I still don’t know whether fight or foreplay but having seen several in the same position I suspect the latter

Oertzeni lizards, I still don’t know whether fight or foreplay but having seen several in the same position I suspect the latter

High above the harbour, a bright green Oertzeni lizard is king of the rock

High above the harbour, a bright green Oertzeni lizard is king of the rock

“I’m not coming out until you go away”

“I’m not coming out until you go away”

Darker, bigger, older and bolder, not put out by pointing a camera at it

Darker, bigger, older and bolder, not put out by pointing a camera at it

“What do you mean you can tell I’m old because of the wrinkles in my neck?”

“What do you mean you can tell age by the wrinkles in my neck?”

Painted dragon lizard, very wary

Painted dragon lizard, very wary

On the back of one of the chairs in the courtyard putting up with the heavy spring shower

On the back of one of the chairs in the courtyard putting up with the heavy spring shower

 ..... until it becomes torrential, requiring a change of orientation, pointing into the downpour

….. until it becomes torrential, requiring a change of orientation, pointing into the downpour

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Red Darter disporting himself on the rocks slabs by the pond at Gria

Red Darter disporting himself on the rocks slabs by the pond at Gria

 .... and a blue one close by

…. and a blue one close by

Crumbling neo-classical pediment hosts house leeks and wall hyacinth

Crumbling neo-classical pediment hosts house leeks and wall hyacinth

Flowers about 3-4 mm across on stems 3-4 cms high

Flowers about 3-4 mm across on stems 3-4 cms high

Holy Orchid in deep shade coming into flower as its neighbours in sunny positions are going to seed

Holy Orchid in deep shade coming into flower as its neighbours in sunny positions are going to seed

Wild hollyhock backlit by late afternoon sun

Wild hollyhock backlit by late afternoon sun

Ground hugging in rocky terrain

Ground hugging in rocky terrain

Seed head of Viper’s Grass (I think), the same diameter as the young tortoise nearby, symbolises the purpose behind all the colour of the last two months, ensuring the continuation of the species.

Seed head of Viper’s Grass (I think), the same diameter as the young tortoise nearby, symbolises the purpose behind all the colour of the last two months, ensuring the continuation of the species.

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2 Responses to Symi: the end of Spring

  1. 165bryn says:

    Thanks Barry for such lovely pictures and lovely written articles. You are a born writer and any book you decide to write will be well worth reading. What a gift from the Lord you have. We ARE GOING TO CORFU ON THE 19TH and GOING UP THE Adriatic on a ship for a few days calling in on various places – Splits- Dubrovnik- Venice and a Gondola boat ride. It’s the first time on a ship for us we never fancied being tied to the sea but some friends booked it and we are going! We are like you in that we love the land fauna and nature although not gifted with photography as you are, trusting you are keeping well and assuring you are in are in our prayers. Richard. and Paddy psalm 33v1.

  2. Lovely photos Barry. I’m feeling a bit like a ‘crumbling neo-classical pediment’ myself today, fortunately, I haven’t sprouted any house leeks yet! We’re still waiting for summer to arrive here. As I said earlier, the swallows didn’t bring it, I think they dropped it on the way! Enjoy your time in Greece. Take care,x

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