SKopelos

By Sofia, May 8 2020 09:22AM

Out of lock down, I ventured out to look for seasonal herbs out at this time. It has been a capricious year and I wasn't sure what can be found. The nettles, my favourite, are almost at their end with their stalks getting woody. The tips with the seeds are still OK to dry and use in soups or in a tea mix. Uncanny how the nettle seed pods resemble the corona capsule we are so used to seeing. The hawthorn bush was in full bloom and I gathered some of the blooms, along with malveas and chamomile blooms to dry and use as my daily tea.


There are so many beautiful botanical plants on the island, especialy at this time of year. We know and use only very few, mostly enjoying them as myriad of flowers which adorn our island's roadside, olive groves, meadows and swamps.


For those who love Skopelos and the flowers of Greece, my friend, Sue Warren, has compiled an extensive study of the Wild Flowers of Skopelos, which she keeps updating and adding to annually, and seasonally. If you are interested you might like to look at this work of love. It has a wealth of information on the Skopelos flora.


http://wildflowersofskopelos.org.uk/Blog.html



Pomegranate bloom
Pomegranate bloom
Wild gladiolus, malvea, poppies, chamomole and more! Everything you need!
Wild gladiolus, malvea, poppies, chamomole and more! Everything you need!
Goats grazing freely on flora
Goats grazing freely on flora
The nettle seed pods
The nettle seed pods
Delicious soup made of the bobbies
Delicious soup made of the bobbies

By Sofia, Apr 28 2020 05:46PM

When I arrived back to Skopelos in March, I noticed that a beautiful plant, Jackman's Rue Blue which graced the courtyard for years, was not in a good condition and might not survive the winter.


Sadly, that was the case and at first I was upset. The best thing about this plant was that apart from not needing much care, year after year it attracted the most exotic butterflies, which adopted the plant as their home. They would appear sometime in the spring (once as early as March), breeze around the garden showing off their exotic wings and generally floating from flower to flower feeding on nectar. True, in the autumn, when they laid their eggs on the rue it was a messy nuisance as the hungry grubs denuded much of the foliage, but the plants always recovered. Against the pleasure gained in the long run it did not matter.


Sad that the Jackman's Rue Blue had died, I was delighted to see, when I removed the stump of the dried trunk, its seedlings germinating through the ground. New life! It will be some time before the seedlings reach the size of the mother plant but it pleases me nevertheless that the next generation of the rue will be there to grace my garden and be a home to clouds of butterflies.


Especially in these strange times (but also, to be honest, at any time) I refect how lucky to have this space to simply walk out and observe nature at work.


Jackmans Blue rue
Jackmans Blue rue
Rue seedlings nestling between sage leaves
Rue seedlings nestling between sage leaves
Rue seedlngs near the mother root
Rue seedlngs near the mother root

By Sofia, Apr 24 2020 08:10AM

Always one of the world's more pleasantly-quiet settings, an even greater calm has spread across Skopelos Old Town in these strange times. Yet even this reached new levels only the other day...


When sending a message to my friend John in Scotland, there was a brief power cut. I stayed connected to John and shared with him this moment of the world cloaking itself in a mantle of darkness and deep silence.


Street lights went off, background noises one is used to and accepts as not being there - like thermostats and timer switches - all fell silent! A comfortable darkness spread, immersing my world in a loud silence. It was not at all foreboding or frightening, but the safe absolute silence that can only be the loud voice of nature coming alive.


Silence has never been as loud!


The wind nows everything about the silence of the sea
The wind nows everything about the silence of the sea
All kings of flora thriving by the road unobstructed by dust
All kings of flora thriving by the road unobstructed by dust
Beautiful blooming hawthorn on the dirt track to Stafylos
Beautiful blooming hawthorn on the dirt track to Stafylos
Watercress at the top of Stafylos beach thriving
Watercress at the top of Stafylos beach thriving

By Sofia, Apr 18 2020 09:38AM

One of the oldest Easter traditions for Orthodox Christians are red-dyed eggs. These symbolise the blood and resurrection of Christ. Not only eggs, but other traditions around this time of the year are symbolic to awakening of nature after the slumber and the monotony of the winter months.


Well ahead of the Easter rituals beginning, the authorities assumed Easter to present the greatest of challenges to the shut-down preventing spread of the COVID.19 virus. On Skopelos there are no cases, which perhaps is due to its isolated and sparsely-populated state in the winter months. We have, however, taken the shut-down guidance for the whole of Greece seriously and abide by it.


I don't bother dying eggs. These are done for me by friends who know in what order of traditions this should be done and whose children symbolically bring over a batch. This year, with social distancing, this age-old symbolic gesture was extended by cousins in Australia, who sent me a snapshot of red Easter eggs, complete with the traditional Easter bread; a delicate arrangement, which I share here with you.


Happy Easter Sunday.


Stay safe everyone.


39 Steps' festive arrangements
39 Steps' festive arrangements
Orthodox Easter bread and eggs from Australia
Orthodox Easter bread and eggs from Australia
Colurful blooms in my Easter field last year
Colurful blooms in my Easter field last year
Hawthorn in bloom
Hawthorn in bloom

By Sofia, Apr 12 2020 11:33AM

In Greece Easter is spiritually the most important time of the year and I expect, it is the same in many countries world wide. The official Common Era Easter divides from the Orthodox Easter this year, but we have a common aim which is the safety of humanity.


Enjoy the Easter holiday everyone and Stay safe!


A step at a time...
A step at a time...
RSS Feed

Web feed

I'm Sofia, 39 Steps' owner and host. This is an occasional blog to keep in touch with my regular guests, give a taste of Skopeliti life and share my experiences of foraging through the summer season

 

Sofia

 

Sofia's 39 Steps Forage Blog

Blog