Symi:  A bit of colour

One of the effects of climate change which, despite what some may say, scientific evidence shows overwhelmingly is not a myth, is increased unpredictability in the weather.  Even on the Greek islands you can’t assume that usual climate patterns will work out, especially in Spring and Autumn.

Blue skies prevailed but May on Symi was cooler than usual with temperatures in the mid twenties most of the time with more than usual number of showers.  This meant that the crisping of foliage by searing summer temperatures was delayed.  The bonus was that plants continued flowering for longer, the built-in rush to set seed deferred.

There was therefore still a considerable amount of colour even at the end of the month.  Visitors who only come mid-summer miss all this.

Despite the cooler weather, by the end of April some plants were finishing their flowering.

17Symi015w0244

The swathes of delicate cyclamen had disappeared leaving only the occasional bloom in deep shade on the north side of a stone wall.

17Symi016w0251

Crown daisies had filled entire fields but now confined to discrete clumps.

17Symi020w0252

A few tiny sparks of Star Clover remain

17Symi056w0277

As do a few flowers of ‘bush lupin’

Other plants only start coming into flower at the end of April and early May.  A walk along the path down the side of the Pedi Valley is well rewarded and even mountain tops have patches of colour.

17Symi017w0256

Wild hollyhocks are coming into flower at the beginning of May and continue throughout the month.

17Symi018w0245

….. lit by evening sun

17Symi021w0257

Masses of tiny yellow flowers on stalks up to 2 feet high nearly block the path down Pedi Valley

17Symi022w0258

…. attracting courting couples

17Symi036w0306

They also attract butterflies though they seem to prefer the tiny cornflowers on the end of long nodding stalks.

17Symi023w0268

One of my favourites is the Holy Orchid (Anacamptis or Orchis Sancta).  If you know where to look there are more than 30 along one short stretch of path …. but only for a couple of weeks in early May

17Symi031w0293

On a similarly Biblical theme and found nearby, Star of Bethlehem (species Ornithogalum, though I don’t know which) looks very different, striking in its simplicity

17Symi040w0319

One of the hundreds of allium (garlic, onions) species, this one I think is Allium ampeloprasum or elephant garlic

17Symi043w0320

Huge areas are covered in oregano, in full flower in May

17Symi028w0274

Normally different mountainsides are covered in one of three herbs – oregano, sage or thyme.  Rarely do they occur together but here oregano and thyme are not only together but in flower at the same time.

17Symi032w0295a

Another favourite, if only because of its dramatic size and deep purple spathe and spadix, is the dragon arum (Dracunculus vulgaris).  Shame it smells like rotting flesh.

17Symi019w0254

Considerably smaller, the poppy is eye catching and this year flowers seemed to continue to open later than usual.

17Symi024w0245

A single poppy grabs the attention in a sea of green barley

17Symi048w0329

…. or is dominant in a field of mixed flowers

17Symi049w0002

In a monastery garden on a mountain top, backlit by the sun, blown wildly in strong winds

Next time a look at landscapes.  Then revisiting fortifications.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Greece, Mountains, Nature, Spring and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Symi:  A bit of colour

  1. Helle Christoffersen says:

    Hello Barry 🙂 Lovely to read about the beautiful plants and flowers on the Symi island. This summer Aksel and I are going to visit Lyn and Iain at their place in Crete. Next year I think that we will visit Symi and Tilos again, it is a bit like home you know 😉 Hope that we will see you then ❤ Aksel and I are both stressed a lot because of our daughters disease. Soon she will continue the treatment against canser in her lymphs. We have to beleve in health… If you ever like to see DK you should tell us, and crash our home then 😉 Best wishes and hugs from Aksel and Helle :-)))

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s