The sun has been making a tentative appearance today which is encouraging the Sternbergia buds to put on a growth spurt, so we’ll soon have these cheerful yellow flowers dotted about the Pelion again.
Jason was staring at me in his transparent manner these last few days, so I decided to brighten him up with a new hat. He models it as silently as ever. I think I’ll wear it myself quite a bit in the greyest days of the coming winter when the dazzling gold of the Sternbergia fades into memory.
Raki, always curious and ever convinced of his helpfulness, batted one of the Sternbergia gauge swatches off the coffee table and really got stuck into his prey.
I have mentioned before that various Greek gods of mythology were said to be responsible for bad weather, and last night they outdid themselves. An almighty storm blew up out of nowhere as we were reading ourselves to sleep. It raced across the Pagasitic from Volos where torrential rain caused such flooding that news reports likened the streets of Volos to the canals of Venice, and had us scrambling out of bed, scattering indignant cats in our wake, as we rushed to secure the shutters. And did it rain! The water slammed against the shutters and the windows and thundered down on the roof, battering the garden as though driven by some fury of envy at the early autumn loveliness. The gods were certainly enraged. All of them were in on the act, but whose tantrum started it? Zeus flung his thunderbolts about in a frenzy, fuming at Aeolus to release the storm winds. Poseidon, not one to be outdone, shot up from the depths to make his menacing entrance. Talk about a tempest!
The rampage was shortlived, no damage, but a quick inspection this morning revealed that the Sternbergia had suffered. The delicate yellow flowers which are such a delight as winter approaches, were no match for the arrogant actors in this latest drama.
But here on the Pelion Peninsula we have Sternbergia.
The characteristic dark green leaves begin to appear from the bulbs in September at the beginning of Autumn, with the bright yellow flowers slowly unfolding soon after.
They last into Winter, thriving in the stony ground, and although they are common in most parts of Greece, they are not widespread, growing in certain areas and not in others. These plants are popular with gardeners worldwide, and it’s easy to see why. They are known as Winter Daffodil or because the flower resembles a crocus, they are sometimes called Autumn Crocus. Another name for them is Lily of the Field, which is most appropriate for these lovely indigenous flowers growing wild and scattered through the rocky countryside.
The pictures were taken yesterday in terrain around our house. I could hardly believe my eyes when I spotted the praying mantis! Such a wily insect, waiting silent and still for an unsuspecting fly or bee to buzz on by.
Raki, who is always convinced that he is indispensable to any activity he happens to witness, had to be removed as the mantis in turn became endangered, and when I returned, the mantis had flown off. Raki was most displeased!