Flowers in Sicily | April

Wild fennel flowers in Sicily

Se vuoi leggerlo in ITALIANO ecco qui

Some months ago a man pointed out us that the foreing people imagine Sicily dry and yellow but it’s because they come here in July or August and they marvel of the colours of our lands in April.

The Sicily isn’t nearly barren! I wrote this post for the first time in italian during the passage from a very rainy winter to a scorching summer preview, in the end of April. There wasn’t spring this year but luckily I never shifted the clothes in my wardrobe this year. It’s prevision (presage?), not extreme disorganization. And in those days before the “terrible” sicilian summer I walked and walked and know I show the sicilian country in spring.

In April the lands are full of “Sulla” (Hedysarum coronarium), that is fuchsia flowers for happy cows. It’s a native plant in Sicily and there are big fuchsia carpets in this month, also because it was planted specifically for pasture. It’s appreciated by cows and bees. It can be eaten in salad or omelet, both flowers and leaves, but I don’t know its taste. If you don’t like new age salads you can put them in a pot, they are long-lasting.

Wood-sorrel” (in italian: Acetosella gialla, Oxalis pes-caprae), that before I knew as “The flower with stem tastes like lemon”. Doing searching on Internet I found this definition: growing over, (in Sicily it’s wherever) but it’s so nice with its lemon yellow flowers that it isn’t kind define it like this.

Also this plant can be used in salad but you can also take one and squeeze the stem by teeth, it has a light sour taste. I suggest you to eat only the flowers picked up in open country, it’s less probable that a dog went pee on. Eat it little because the oxalate acids are harmful to kidney. I think it’s the most typical and nice wild plant in Sicily.

Wild glad in Sicily

The wild gladiolus (Gladiolus italicus), the Poetess and me picked up many and many of them during our walks, while the two Nespule looking for us alone, sad and disconsolate. They have fuchsia-violet flowers and we tried to plant them because they are simple but really elegant. They are frail, don’t leave them under the sun after harvest them. I couldn’t reproduce them in the vase, of course.

Sicilian broom, ginestra

The broom, that plant much loved by your mother,reason why your father didn’t hesitate to stop in motorway to harvest big bundles of them. This is my (very old) memory of this plant with yellow flowers.
– Memory number 2: they have a terribly hard trunk, you have to use a knife to cut them (their fibre was used to make ropes).
– Memory number 3: they smell nice and the bees like them (I discovered this particular while daddy, unflappable, harvested them next to me O_O).
– Memory number 4: They are very resistant and few discerning but they can be infested by aphids (I discovered this hugging a big bundle for my mother ).
– Memory number 5: my mother liked them very much.
– Memory number 6: that evening had on tv the terrible movie ‘The House of the Spirits‘.

Brock daisies and nice little daisies. I always liked wild daisies but I didn’t ever harvest them to put in a pot on the table, because I hate their stink! (and lilium smell too) I prefer other daisies that I saw, they are white and little and nice and Scopello parking lot is full of them. They remind me of the toilet paper that my parents bought when I was a child, with printed flowers and a so intense fragrance. (Ok, you can close this page)

Poppies in Sicily

Poppies! By now I don’t see many of these nice red flowers but when me and my brothers were children, our mother took us to see big exquisite red lands surronded by buildings at the Trapani periphery. I’m sorry their fragility, you can’t harvest and put them in a pot to have a happy awakening.

Wild fennel flowers in Sicily

Wild fennel. Sicilian lands are full of this plant but I didn’t know it. I took a picture of these ones in the lands around Segesta temple, before the sunset. It’s a likeable wild plant and it is an Umbellifera. The fennel is used everywhere but in my opinion the best use is in “pasta con le sarde“, spiced with the small tender branches you find during a walk. Actually fennel is good for everything: against the stomach ache, vomit, good for liver, seeds are used to aromatize the sausage in Sicily and it can be hallucinogenic O_O

Yellow and violet cardoon, in the end of April they are everywhere in Sicily. They are infest but nice, it’s a Lady Gaga Flower. It’s also the flower that reminds the sicilian shepherd Dafni, his parents were Hermes god and a nymph. He was beautiful like all shepherds of greek mythology (but their beauty genes are lost in current shepherds). Dafni was killed by his betrayed nymph-girlfriend and the Earth created the cardoon because of the pain.

Wild Iris in Sicily

Wild Iris in Sicily

Wild iris is one of the most elegant and hidden wild flowers, they are so tiny. I discovered that the meaning of its name, in greek, is rainbow and this is enough for me 🙂

Unknown wild flowers in Sicily

Unknown wild flowers in Sicily

Mistery flowers. I don’t know their name but I like them because they seem many tiny suns 🙂

I love pictures of flowers, I HAD TO write a post about flowers in Sicily. I walk slowly and I’m always the last of my group but I like take pictures of them and their evanescent beauty. When I see again these pictures it’s as remembering little happy memories, just for one moment. They don’t make you definitively happy or solve your problems but 5 minutes of beauty every day refresh the heart. Ever.

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Fantasie nipponiche

Sicilian country in August. Illustration by Tadahiro Uesugi

Oggi butto un post in libertà perché mi andava di riempire il blog di cose belle.
L’altro giorno, leggendo il bellissimo blog sul vintage di Ale Rosaspina, ho fatto una nuova scoperta.

Si chiama Tadahiro Uesugi.

Ho cominciato da poco a leggere il blog di Rosaspina, una ragazza torinese che ama i vestiti vintage della suocera e che passa il tempo a disegnare, perché è riuscita a fare della sua passione il suo bellissimo lavoro, e io, che sono una maniaca dell’ordine solo in queste cose, ho cominciato a leggerlo dall’inizio, dopo aver letto il post più recente (sempre così anche per i libri, prima l’ultima pagina e poi dall’inizio, così piano piano l’ultima pagina ritrova un senso). Mi sono imbattuta in un vecchio articolo proprio carino, pieno di illustrazioni, quelle di Tadahiro.

Non lo conosce nessuno, me compresa, eppure dei suoi disegni è pieno zeppo il mondo della moda, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, libri, film.

Non disegna manga e i suoi personaggi non hanno gli occhioni. Disegna scene, ferme eppure vive. L’avete mai visto Fantasia 2000? La clip di Rapsodia in Blu di Gershwin? Sfondi bidimensionali e retrò, ambientati da qualche parte, in Giappone o in Europa, tra gli anni ’50 e ’60, ma tutto creato in digitale. Un tratto ruvido che non toglie leggiadria alle scene. Signorine eleganti in chissà quali faccende affaccendate a suon di jazz, ma con sfondo silenzioso perché raramente le scene includono più di una signorina, sembrano tutte ambientate in quelle ore in cui luoghi frenetici si svuotano. Potrebbero intitolarsi “Le due del pomeriggio” o “Agosto in città”.

Che c’entra Tadahiro con la Sicilia? Un bel niente o comunque poco. Avevo trovato il suo sito e ho cominciato a sfogliare le numerosissime illustrazioni (è scritto tutto in giapponese ma la parola “Illustration” in fondo alla pagina lascia pochi dubbi). Sarà la forza evocativa di questi semplici disegni, o sarà che a quasi trent’anni comincio ad essere in fissa con la Sicilia, ad esserne così affascinata da vederla ovunque (tutta colpa di Giovanni), ma sfogliando cominciavo a vedere una scena di Montalbano qua, un isolato elegante di Palermo là, la campagna vicino monte Cofano lì… e allora che fare? Riempio di disegni nipponici e rimembranze sicule il blog, che domande!


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