Posts Tagged ‘swallows’

Volunteers–how would the Olympics manage without them?!

This is not about people though, it’s about Mother Nature.

Each year we are surprised and delighted by unexpected guests–volunteers.

Hollyhocks called Henry and Californian poppies…

…wild strawberries and  Love-in-the-Mist (aka Nigella).

Some, after an initial scattering of seeds, make their seasonal re-visitations–like the swallows on Corfu–adding to the color and general well-being around here.

Mysterious and miraculous are these return visits to the ignorant–like me.

Bring them on–I say–you’re welcome anytime–see you next year!

This year the sunflowers were first in the mint patch–attracting the attention of the mystery muncher.*

They were followed, closely, by two strong tomato plants–the real thing rather than the tiny cherry variety that pop up everywhere–with big green bunches ripening soon (we hope!).

There are the volunteers who like it so much here they decide to dig in and stay en permanence–sometimes raising a family too.

The self-planted Judas (Redbud) tree close to the house in the courtyard is growing apace and will soon provide us with an emergency exit from the first floor in case of fire!

Three years ago, a “thing” grew out of the mint patch and started heading for the compost heap.

Charting it’s progress we laid bets on how far it would reach. Then–wonder–it started having offspring.

Beautiful yellow marrow-like fruit appeared at regular intervals.

I tried to make a dish with one, but it collapsed.

They made a pretty picture against the wall though.

Yellow mellowed into burnished orange as these courge aged.

The following year, it reappeared, travelling in the opposite direction from compost heap to the mint patch–throwing off fruit like the year before.


* Our friend and neighbor Alice thinks it was a hungry cow who was the mystery muncher of the sunflowers. I was hoping for something more exotic!

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Seven o’clock and the sun has just risen over the Albanian mountains, catching the white headboard of a ferry out in the channel moving east for Athens or Igoumenitsa with a precious cargo of holiday makers, ready to spend their euros in the shops, hotels and restaurants of this troubled country.

There was an election here on Sunday–a critical one that could decide whether Greece stays in the eurozone–even whether the eurozone itself survives! But none of the razzmatazz and frenzy of an American or English election day.

Greeks we asked about it in Corfu Town summoned up little interest and we saw not a single sign indicating a polling station.

The Corfiots (the name the locals go by) we were told, leave town on a Sunday and head for their villages where they vote if they have a mind to.

Two friends who arrived from Athens reported the same thing in the capital; the town felt empty, they said.

Not much activity either in the Internet Café on the beach.

Just us and two busy swallow parents dashing back and forth under the beams of the terrace feeding their nest of youngsters.

(Our waiter told us it’s considered bad luck in Greece ever to remove a swallow nest.)

Only a scattering of sunbathers along the stony beach, making it feel more like the Costa Brava my parents took us to in 1953—unspoiled and beautiful.

But Lloret del Mar back then was supporting a mere five hotels and a few bars—nothing as remotely needy of tourism and trade as this beautiful part of Corfu today.

Another ferry on its way–

Let’s hope those two empty loungers above will be occupied next week!

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