”Colours shone with exceptional clarity in the rain. The ground was a deep black, the pine branches a brilliant green, the people wrapped in yellow looking like special spirits that were allowed to wander over the earth on rainy mornings only.” – Haruki Murakami
I love growing feverfew, it is not only a great herb, it also looks beautiful in the garden among the lavender and the marigolds.
Among all the wild and garden flowers this summer I am still also growing some vegetables, and many herbs too of course. The large garlic was a succes this time, and the garden peas are doing real well.
This is just a little update at the end of this month of June, midsummer has just passed and I love the very early bright mornings, awaking at 4 o’clock very often while the first light appears in the Eastern sky, and the birds are singing, wonderful! And while the countries of continental Europe are scorching hot, we had a mellow feel to the day this afternoon with summer scents wafting up from the damp but warm earth, such a delight.
Henry James knew about these happy feelings when he said ““Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
Are you enjoying a wonderful summer in nature?
A very peaceful afternoon, the sun blazing down and smiling over mother nature and humankind, the birds singing, but otherwise stillness over the land. This was my walk yesterday. I decided that I would go see the meadows that surround the town of Victoria and see close up what is growing and flowering there. The views that greeted me were glorious to say the least, the colours a balm to the eyes, and not alone the dark and different shades of the green grass, but the way this brought out the bright yellow of the various flowers. My eyes had a feast. The warmth of the sun relaxed me and brought more than one smile to my face, oh the good that this does to the mind and the body! A few lizards were of the same thought as they were basking on the warm stones, but scuttled away before I came close. It was lovely to see bees buzzing around, and little snails out in full strength. The sun had encouraged nature to become alive again!
The air was pure, even so close to a major town. I could get the scent of the greenery, with a subtle whiff of flower perfume carried on the light breeze. I stood and enjoyed this for a long time. Spring is always nice, and meadows have always been my favourite, I used to watch a painting while still at school, it were a few children playing in a meadow filled with flowers. It gives a certain feeling of total peace. That peace is still with me and is heightened when I find myself among wild flowers and meadows. Our mum used to take us to a meadow when we were very small, I remember it though was only a toddler, she would sit with us among the flowers and we were allowed to pick some. Glorious days of the past, but yet with us always, renewed in the present day every springtime again and again.
Nature has so much to gift us, feelings of bliss and renewed strength at the end of winter.
A Maltese bee getting nectar from the Cape Sorrel.
Some of the wild flowers found in the meadow and along the road side too.
Below are some of the wild herbs I found yesterday, there is the Goose grass which in Ireland grows plentiful and which I use in soups, there is the Fumitory which is supposed to be a ‘liver’ herb, the Fennel of which there grows a lot around here, Borage which can be used in all sorts of ways, and the Nettle which is a real health giving herb and I use a lot of it in soups etc. It is nice to see all the wild herbs growing very healthy.
A walk to the outskirts of this historical town treats me to wonderful views of the surrounding villages and countryside, places like Sannat, Xewkija and Xaghra can be seen easily, and in between the villages there is a wealth of greenery and meadows full of yellow flowers. It was a cold day, a slight breeze made me put on my hat, but for walking it was excellent weather. I had been to the library, where the librarians were freezing, obviously because their job demands deskwork, it is a fairly small library here but the librarians are very helpful and friendly. The book stock, although some of it is old enough, is very interesting to me for my chosen subject while we are here. So after that visit I decided to head off on the nearest street and see where it would bring me. Interestingly it turned out to be a different area from most of what I have seen of Victoria because up to now I have just hung out in the oldest part of town, here it is very residential. The whole town of Victoria is very residential, a pleasant town to live in I can say from experience, very friendly, always something happening and buzzing with people, yet quiet and peaceful, you feel safe here. It is historic, and beautiful in its limestone buildings. Here a few photos of today’s walk.
Looking towards Xewkija, I could easily have walked there if I wanted to, so close to here.
A beautiful little flower on a patch along the road.
Cats meet you all over Gozo
The colours of the autumn season, in all their different browns have all got beautiful and inspiring names I think, as inspiring as their shades differ in hues and in the energy they emanate. I guess we associate browns very much with the mellow and misty autumn season, the shades of amber, ochre, sepia, chestnut, burnt sienna, russet, bronze, copper, and tawny to name only a few can usually be found in a variety of autumn leaves, a beautiful pallet. Many painters have used browns to good advantage, among them Caravaggio of whom I recently admired two original works in the cathedral in Valetta. He very effectively used browns to create his wonderful shadows. Anton Van Dyke used browns also, he used a brown called Cassel Earth, it was made up mainly of decayed vegetable matter. Iron oxide though is the most common ingredient in brown pigments, but also manganese oxide.
I read a fascinating book last year about colours, about the origins, their historical uses and much more. The book is called “Colours: Travels through the paintbox” and is written by Finli Viktoriya. It sure takes one travelling, and also back into history, a great read.
These are some of the images of my life in the past year, and I chose the colour blue because that seems to have figured a lot in my life the last twelve months. While choosing the photos out of my media library here at my WordPress.com I enjoyed wonderful memories of both beauty and joy, and would like to share this with all my friends.
Today I will just post some of the flowers that I have come across so far, and I’m in a village, I have not been out in the country yet, so I know there is much more to explore when it comes to Malta’s flora yet. I have taken these photo mainly while walking around the village, some in the wild, some in the front gardens of the people, all are equally beautiful and interesting. I hope you enjoy as much as I do. Names I do not know but some of the flowers I recognise from India, Greece, or Mauritius. Thanks to my friend, Mary, she identified the delicate blue flower as Plumbago – a native of South Africa.
Sicilian Marigold – Calendula Sicula
Soaking up the sun while staying in this fishing village in the South of Malta. Lots to see and lots to write about, but all my energy has gone into actually enjoying things that come our way; so far it’s been on the sea, the warmth of the sun, the local people, the seafoods and the amazing, most beautiful limestone buildings. All I can share right now are photos. In a minute I am off to document a procession here at the local church, something truly local and belonging to the people of Malta, that I want to witness. But I will be back with more stuff.
And some more photos.