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Showing posts from 2019

The Grand Tour

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Those of you who were with me last year will recall my friends, Betty and Bert. They are what is known in the trade as 'a literary device'. They allow me to recall the actions and words of my true friends and family without fear of being ostracised, sued or generally marmalised. I met a number of new friends on my recent sojourn to the UK and back to Crete by train and ferry and would like to keep them (at least until they discover what I am really like). This is the story of that journey; through England, Holland, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy and Greece, as seen through the eyes of a naturalist with Betty and Bert popping in to provide a bit of comic relief.


Cockermouth
Nestling up in the north west corner of England, just above the Lake District and trying to pretend that it is part of it, lies the idyllic town of Cockermouth. It is a place where a walk to the health centre involves negotiating a flock of sheep and a trip to the supermarket is accompanied by earthy sce…

The Reasons Behind The Excessive Rainfall

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Out & About
Do you remember that old stone bridge that we crossed atMirtos last month? The one where I suggested that whheelchair users would probably find it more practical to use the adjoining concreted ford? No longer; the ford was washed away last week in the fifth major deluge to hit our island this year. We have had more rain so far this year than the total rainfall for any of the preceding ten years.
I thought that we'd take a walk down to the cliffs today to see how Ferma, which lies between Myrtos and Makry Gialos, has fared. But as we wend our way down through the olive groves I'll try to explain what is happening and it is down to our old friend (or new enemy) climate change. Simply put, the temperature of the Earth is slowly rising but it is not constant around the globe. Here in south east Crete we are just under a degree celcius warmer than we were ten years ago which is much greater than the global average. Warmer air holds more moisture and it has a tendancy …

No Place Like Home

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Out & About


Spring is here at last. I don't know about you but it seems a lot longer than thirteen weeks since the winter solstice. One thing about spring is that life is so abundant that you don't have to go far to look for it. Come with me into the olive grove next door and I'll show you. Absolutely bursting with blooms: Poppies, Pimpernels, Mallow and Medicago, Shepherd's Needles and Vetch. I can see at least fourteen different flowers from here but the one I'm particularly interested in today is the ubiquitous Garland Daisy as they really attract the insects. Look, we've got a Mirid Bug, a little black Crabronid wasp, a hoverfly and three different beetles. Not a bad little haul.

Now, I need your help. As I was coming back from Ierapetra on Saturday (March 23rd) I stopped off at the beach to have a look at the pink carpet of Catchfly that adorned the upper levels and I found myself surrounded by hundreds of Painted Ladies. These amazing little butterflies…

Mirtos River

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The sun is shining and there's hardly a breath of wind. Drop everything, cancel all plans, we're going out! With all the rain we've had recently (and more forecast in the coming days) good walking weather is at a premium. A morning stroll by the Myrtos river followed by a spot of lunch in the town is definitely in order.
Out & About

The birds are certainly enjoying themselves. Apart from a murder of hooded crows mustering in that gum tree over there, discussing goodness knows what, I can hear the descending trills of chaffinches, a twittering of goldfinches, the long, drawn out 'dzeee' of a greenfinch and the sharp 'tak-tak' of a male stonechat. And sitting pretty as a picture on that bush to our left is a female stonechat cocking an ear to the male whilst keeping a beady eye on us.




It's nice to see a few more wildflowers coming into bloom. The Branched Asphodels are a sure sign that spring can't be too far away and the Common Lantana (or Bacon &am…