The fraying roots of a Banyan Tree, Chitwan, Nepal.
Greek architecture is full of arches – especially churches. Here’s my collection of wonderful doors, windows, ceilings and bell towers from my recent trip:
Looking down from a hike on a hazy day. I loved the silhouette of the birds on the wire. They almost look drawn on against the washed out colours of the sea and sky.
Fire is a serious hazard on a island covered with pine trees in the hot, dry summer. And Spetses has had its share of massive, destructive fires in the last fifteen years.
The message προσοχe κίνδυνος πυρκαγιάς στο δάσος means “Warning. Danger of Forest Fires.” The signs, posted all over the island, are a reminder that human carelessness is a major cause of forest fires. However, not many signs remain. Most are fallen, rusted beyond recognition or — ironically — burned in one of the many forest fires over recent years. On a recent hike, we spotted this rare example of one that is still in relatively good condition. To add to the neglect, this sign is peppered with bullet holes. I’m guessing this is not as a statement of dissent from pyromaniacs, just winter hunters carelessly using them as target practice. Not very a respectful gesture towards an important environmental message. As we finally watch the baby pines regrow after the great fire of 2000, which destroyed 2/3’s of the trees on the island, perhaps its time to get some new signs up?
Favourite textures from a walk through a Spetses pine forest:
Daily Prompt: This is clearly subjective, but some words really sound like the thing they describe (personal favorites: puffin; bulbous; fidgeting). Do you have an example of such a word (or, alternatively, of a word that sounds like the exact opposite of what it refers to)? What do you think creates this effect?
Griniazee (γκρινιάζei) Greek word meaning to moan, complain, gripe, whine
In the supermarket, little Dimitri wants to buy something his mom won’t give him. He has a melt down right there and then. He’s frustrated mom makes an angled chopping motion with her hand, and steps back looking at him incredulously. She stamps her foot back, and yells, “Mi Grinaizee, Dimitri!” (Don’t whine, Dimitri).
“Den Grinaizo!” (I’m not whining…), he complains back, sounding more whiny then ever.
How can a word which starts with “grin” sound so whiny? Yet it does. At least to me. I think its the way its delivered with a long frustrated “yaaa zeee”. So moany!
Our long, white wall is a big feature of our property. Literally, and figuratively. And it’s old. If you look carefully you can see layers of wall that have increased its height over the years. I’m guessing the bottom part is as old as the house – that’s about 150 years. If you whitewashed the wall every year, that would be 150 layers of whitewash that would annually have brightened it, and then faded, and peeled off years later in crumbling strips. Last week we decided it was time to freshen things up again:
If you have never whitewashed before, but have experience painting, you might be tempted to treat whitewash like paint. Its not. It behaves very differently. The mixture of lime and water is very thin, and a special round brush is used to hold as much of the liquid as possible as you attempt to place it on the wall. And you do “place” it…you don’t paint it on. It takes a slow light touch of the brush to the wall, with minimal flicking and spreading. It can take a long time to whitewash rugged textures like stone walls. Even if you are slow and careful, you always come away sprayed with the stuff. And, as it goes on translucent and dries to a white colour, it can be hard to spot your mistakes until it is too late.
Late afternoon light creates zig zag shadows for this week’s photo challenge at the abandoned monastery of Panagia Elona, Spetses.
As this blog (and its owner) continues to take a much needed hiatus from all things Nepali, I thought I’d focus on Greek transportation for this week’s challenge. In particular the local ferry, which is a much needed lifeline between our island and the mainland, carrying produce, meat and dairy in refrigerated trucks as well as building supplies, gasoline– – you name it — to the local economy.
And so 6-8 times a day, its a game of “everybody off, everybody on” as the ferry disembarks and reloads on each side. Full trucks come onto the island, and empty trucks leave. Then there’s the motorbikes, three-wheelers, miscellaneous freight and pedestrians that travel back and forth too. I tried to capture a little of the chaos on the dock: