Persephone has wrought her wonders once again this spring, thrilling the vegetation into exuberant displays of colour, waking the sleeping leaves from winter-dormant trees, encouraging the buds to open, and enticing tiny fruits to peep out at the warming world.
The olive flowers have given way to teensy olives – pale green beads sheltering tightly in little clusters as though fearful of what the unpredictable storms of the season might yet do to them.
Olives have been grown on the Pelion peninsula since time immemorial; there are trees in our grounds that are at least 300 years old, and many colossal specimens in the area are claimed to be more than a thousand years of age. Quite possible.
The olives are not looking promising this year, though. Much of the blossom was torn from the trees by very strong gales throughout May, so the olives are already greatly reduced in number. Add to this the myriad of pests which attack all parts of the olive tree, the leaves, the bark, and particularly the fruit itself, and I fear the olive crop might be a poor one. I do hope not, for olive revenues are vital to the local farmers.
The fig trees are laden with fruit, dark green and shining new. Shall I call them figlets? They are bigger, brighter, bolder than the olives as they are of course a much larger fruit, but I have to keep a wary eye on them. The wind is not so much their enemy as are the worms and moths that infest the leaves at every opportunity, spreading cobwebs all across them, under which the worms thrive, and munch, and mature, and start the whole cycle all over again.
The lemons always do well, not surprisingly, and are quite indispensable for all sorts of uses.The grapes are making an effort, but the birds do love them so, and the ants are wild for them.
Speaking of ants, look at them feasting on these fat buds.
We’re green here on our property, not just in Nature’s brilliant hues, but also in the ecological sense. This piece of land was in the possession of a local family for many generations, several hundred years in fact, and so its history is well known; they have never used any form of poison. No herbicide. No pesticide. And we most certainly have not, nor will we ever.
And yet, somehow, it balances itself out. We have abundant bird life, which we encourage by providing fresh water at several spots. The insectivorous swallows do a fine job of zapping various pests, as do the cheeky flycatchers. And while our fruit is not perfect, it’s delicious and most certainly organic.Jason got into the spirit of things, sporting a new hat, and making no objection to being photographed. Several of the furry and hairy ones stuck their noses in, as they invariably do, cavorting about like kids let out of school.
Raki is either absolutely convinced of his superiority, or else he’s too self-absorbed to comprehend that all the others regard him as just another one of the pests!