About Me

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Crete, Greece
Married to the lovely Geoffrey, my soulmate. I have two fantastic big kids,both married, whom I love and miss every day I'm not with them, but I know they're living and loving their lives and we make up for time when we get together.I now have three granddaughters too...

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Walking With Orchids

Milky Orchid (Orchis Lactea)
This post is a combination of photographs from 2 walks I've done recently. I feel maybe I am posting too many photograghs of the proliferation of wild flowers and orchids in my area of Crete at the moment?? Well, you don't have to look, do you? But I would like you to comment on the subject.

It is something close to our hearts though.

Many of us realise how fortunate we are to be able to see this "show"each year. We are also aware of how vital it is to try and protect them and their environment.

Unfortunately, as well as new development being built, the number of herds of goats roaming the mountainsides have increased hugely over the last few years causing untold damage to the flora.

There are plans afoot to limit where the goats can forage but much damage has already been done.

One of the walks was with Julia, (look at the link to her site for more information) and Rosemary, who is a botanist. If you enlarge this photogragh, you'll be able to see clumps of Butterfly Orchids (Orchis Papilionacea ssp. Heroica)

We were scouring the hillside for any sightings of orchids. Believe it or not, in the 2 hours we spent clambouring around, we found 12 different species!! Some are so tiny they are very easy to overlook, but once you get your eyes "trained", they pop up everywhere.

The photograghs of the orchids are at the end of this post.

Meanwhile, the second walk was with Geoff, we took photograghs of a variety of the wild flowers.


These sweet cyclamen were peeping from the hedgerow.



Another thing I mention often, is the abundance of (mainly) ladies we bump into, picking "horta", wild greens. Now,these must be very special as she's abandoned her car on a corner and is risking life and limb to pick them.




Just look at these beautiful anemones!

I love this photogragh of a euphorbia head, (euphorbia characias), it's so sculptural.


More red anemones bobbing their heads in the breeze.

These cyclamen are Cyclamen creticum, endemic to Crete.

And from here on I'm going to take the easy way out and ask you to look at Julia's site if you want to know the names of the remaining orchids, they are all very difficult to differentiate as the differences are slight. Julia and Rosemary were cross referencing with their books..

















And finally, some Snake's head or Widow Iris.














27 comments:

Artist Unplugged said...

Amazing and beautiful photos....I enjoy taking these walks with you. How wonderful is it to have a botanist with you!

pinkfairygran said...

Lovely photos, great walk, don't feel tired at all!! And I think your puppy is just adorable too.. but aren't most of them at that age?

Wild Somerset Child said...

Absolutely NOT - too many photos; I love them and feel I am on a walk on the wild side with you, taking photos and inspired to write poetry. (Wish I had that photo of the lady picking greens when I wrote my 'wild greens' article recently!)

Lynn said...

I love going on these walks with you Jude, and I love seeing all the different flowers growing in Crete. So please keep blogging them. They are beautiful. And how wonderful that people care and will make decisions regarding the goats so the flowers can continue to grow.

Woozle1967 said...

Gorgeous pictures. I have been to Crete many times and love the island very much. I stayed in Aghia Pelaghia the first time........ thanks for resurfacing the memories!x

Blu said...

Thanks for letting us tag along on your walk, love the flowers, more more.

Calico Kate said...

Beautiful photographs Jude, thank you for sharing them with us. It will be a while yet before we get anything like that here. Cyclamen are one of my most favorite flowers.
Shame about the goats but things do survive once the animal has gone. When M&D shooed the sheep off their hill the number of primroses that come out - no longer nibbled away - are spectacular. So much prettier than sheep, or goats!
CKx

bindu said...

How gorgeous! This is such a beautiful place you live in. And it would be a shame to not have these wild flowers and orchids bloom in spring because of disturbance. The damage by goat/cattle is an issue in many countries, and unless people are educated about this issue and areas marked off, it will cause great damage. Meanwhile, thanks for taking us along on this walk!

Laura said...

Stunning photos! They so remind me of pictures my grandpa took of his flowers. Thanks for the fantastic memories!
Love the puppy, how cute!

Taz said...

The flowers are gorgeous, surely no one can not enjoy looking at them. I loved Crete when we were there many moon ago on our honeymoon. I hope one day to get back there. Oh and I have to say your new puppy is adorable.

Tiina said...

Lovely photos they makes me longing for spring and summer even more. It snows again here in Sweden :-(

sukipoet said...

There can never be too many photos of Crete. Beautiful. Flowers I would never see in my own daily walks! That sure is a lovely spot you live in.

Inthemud said...

Such wonderful flowers, I'm so envious . I loved Crete when I holidayed there some years ago.

How lucky you are!

Maddie Grigg said...

I can feel the spring warmth from your photos, beautiful.
I am intrigued about how the goats will be kept out. Do people rely on the goats for a living? Are there the equivalent of nature reserves where goats and other such creatures fear to tread? And if so, how are they made goat-proof?

Milla said...

very pretty pictures, that orchid, whatever it is (!) looks like a mini iris with a bee hanging onto it. love the cyclamen shot and that of the euphorbia head. Those macra pictures (I think that's the term) are very effective.

Sara said...

What beautiful pictures, those are such pretty flowers, I love the orchids at the end. I so wish we were seeing green right now, instead of brown!

Tiina said...

Hi again, we have still about 40cm
with snow and -1. Brrrrrr. Spring comes hopefully in the later part of april. It´s so great to see all the beautiful flowers on Crete. Thank you for showing us.

Suffolkmum said...

Fantastic photos. I love wild flowers, Crete in spring must really be something else.

Lydia said...

Hi Jude,

I want a Dewi - how cute is he?! The flowers in Crete are beautiful - especially the euphorbia head. Cyclamens remind me of Christmas - not always easy to keep over here, yet in your hedgerows....
Thanks for the message, I choked up reading about your brothers wife. Think I'll need plenty of tissues to begin with...
Love Lydia xx

katie jane said...

This is a wonderful post, Jude. You sure know your botany. The orchids are exquisite, and someone recommended to me that I try some euphorbia in my garden. After seeing it here, I will certainly look for it at my garden center. Everything looks so lush and green. Thanks for sharing.

Cynthia said...

Wow Jude, exceptionally beautiful flower photos! Please come over to Oasis and collect your award.<3

Lulu Barbarian said...

Is there anything more beautiful and fragile than spring in a dry mediterranean climate? I especially love the wild cyclamen.

Jackie said...

Don't apologise for your posts they are so interesting. I've just caught up with all I've missed, I enjoyed the clean monday ones.

Pondside said...

Unbelievable! I can't imagine taking a walk in such a place. Orchids are things for exotic florist shops - and there you are, knee deep in them.
I never get tired of the photos, so keep it up.

Pipany said...

That was just gorgeous thank you. There can be no such thing as too many photos of wild flowers surely? The orchids are beautiful and as for those iris... xx

Cheryl said...

Gorgeous! I love the photos. I can take pictures and look at pictures of flowers for days. I've taken some and they're ready to post as my almond trees have blossomed. Gorgeous post!!!! Love it!

Exmoorjane said...

Never too many photos on a blog, in my book, and yours are GORGEOUS. Such a treat to see through your eyes. Have never been to Crete though always wanted to and have heard abotu the famous spring flowers. Concerning t hough about the goats and the development.
Adore that euphorbia too - could almost be a brooch!