GOZA’S NATURAL HERITAGE

This morning we made our first walk in Gozo. We are staying in Xlendi which is a little place on the South-West of the island. It consists of what looks like a ravine, or a mini-fjord, and is flanked on the one side with apartments built in honey coloured limestone, and with rocks and short shrubbery on the other side.

DSCF4526We are staying in one of the apartments, ground floor at the front door, but a very high fourth floor on the opposite side where the balcony is.

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The apartment does not get much sun as it is NW facing, only when the sun is about to go down do we see any of it, nice to get the setting sun, however, it does make the place here rather chilly for the time of year, and for the first time since we arrive on the Maltese island have I had to wear thermals inside. Outside, though it is glorious, lovely and warm in the sun, and the sky blue without any cloud. Obviously we are going to be outside most of the time, soaking up the sun as much as all the history and architecture of the island, but this morning I concentrated on the natural heritage which is simply amazing and so interesting.

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We walked down a path only a stone’s throw away, and discovered a wealth of wildlife and flora, we also saw the most beautiful blue sea and rocks stretching as far as the eye could see. I got working with taking macro photos of the flowers and insects while Ian strolled on and sat resting on one of the many benches. One of the most pleasing factors was the sea breeze which was both refreshing and warmly scented.

The flower of the Mallow plant, and an ant lost on the large hot rocks. The shrubs and wild plants are low and stay small mainly because there is such a water shortage here, it is April right now and the people have not seen any rain since the New Year. The rocky soil also contributes to the stunted growth of the plants. Everywhere we see lizards, beautiful little creatures, very fast, though they love to just sun bathe, difficult subjects to take photos of.  Their colour varies, but like this one green seems to predominate.

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There is a steep road down to the little harbour, apparently at some time there are many of the Gozitan fishing boats anchored there, but now, now we only saw clear aqua marine water and fish of which I do not know the name.

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This is the path leading down to the sea, there is also another path that leads over the hill towards the tower seen on the left and to some of the salt pans. But that is going to be a walk for another day.

 

 

In the photo on the right, Lichen, these lichen are growing colourfully on some of the rocks, the rocks are mainly limestone, with plainly to see fossils.

Here is one of the fossils, they are so interesting and make for an exciting walk, to think that these creatures are the makings of the sedentary rocks surrounding us.

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One of my favourite photos and views of the morning was this flower, the name of it escapes me totally, please if someone knows can you tell me.  It was delicately scented.

DSCF4590Among other plants and trees I’ve seen are the African Tamarix trees here, they are considered an endangered species, but seem to do well here.

And yet another creature I came across, a type of beetle I guess.

I know that there is a lot more to explore in nature here, this is only the first day and we have a whole month here.  I hope to keep writing about what I discover and illustrate with my photos.  Thanks for reading, I hope that you enjoyed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 thoughts on “GOZA’S NATURAL HERITAGE

    1. OMG so that is the flower of the capers which I like so much to eat! Thank you for telling us Mary, here capers are eaten even for breakfast! It is good to know the name of the flower.

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    1. Hi Julia, no according to all the people we met they say that it is most unusual, they have not had a drop of rain here since the first of January, and they also say that they did not have a typical winter.

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      1. I had a job in college mapping Pacific weather systems and I have been seeing very unusual weather all over the world the last few years but especially this year. Such a beautiful place, I do hope they get rain soon. By the way, your photos are worth of National Geographic, in my humble opinion.

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      2. Thank you, you are too kind. It is amazing that the Maltese islands did not get any rain since the beginning of the year, we had just a little the other night on Gozo but not enough to replenish water tanks I think. Yes rain needed very much. Interesting that you have seen a difference in the world’s weather this year especially, Ireland had the coldest April on records as far as I know.

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  1. It was a real joy to make this walk with you, dear Agnes. Fantastic photos, full of southern atmosphere. The white beautiful flower is the flower of capers. After it dried out, you can collect the “fruits”, put them into vinegard and eat it. Kind regards Mitza

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