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.

If you want to correct my English (please, be kind because I’m a sensitive person and I’m learning) or suggest something, you can write to fioredinespula@gmail.com
If you want to sleep in Belveliero you can write here bebilveliero@gmail.com (write FIORE in the email 😉 )
If you prefer to sleep in Granveliero and partecipate to cooking workshops write to granveliero@gmail.com

Annunci

Cloudy salt pans. Story of two lovers who haven’t time to go to beach…fortunately there is Calcara salt pan!

Trapani salt pans with Erice view

Se vuoi leggerlo in ITALIANO ecco qui.

If you have a relashionship with a man who works with tourists in a seaside resort, summer doesn’t exist! There aren’t holidays to melt yourself in the beach, your brain doesn’t evaporate while you read Cosmopolitan and there aren’t embarrassing situations in front of kids in beach….but the wrinkles by suntan are a problem only for your friends 3:D

In summer my relashioship with Giovanni becomes a sequence of (very) little romantic escapes, like in a clandestine love story the instant is fundamental, Latins said “Carpe diem“, the tiny “diem” in which the world forgets Giovanni’s mobile number, two fast little hours, during which people are with beautician, at tennis training or at beach with a friend and you, poor lover, very busy girl of which a fleeting thought slips into the realization of her impossible summer love, get that all desired phone call “I’m free until 19.00!“.

HURRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH finally we go to beach!!!!

Finally we can behave like a normal boyfriend and a normal girlfriend among unknown tan experts who don’t want anything for this summer because their cabana has been reserved ten months ago and their oily shaved eyebrows snub your worm skin.

I take out the swimsuit from mothballs, spread three litres of sun cream (kids protection), introduce the beach towel in the backpack, after a search of two hours because it was lost in a forgotten place, like a stupid I think “Hurraaaahhh we are going to the beach, finally we are going to the beach, hurrah! We won’t look like cadavers, hurrah, will I remember how to do it?

HURRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH

It’s in this moment that my boyfriend goes into a coma and recovers energies lost in the first terrible week of August and hours pass.

Dang! And the sea??????

Every adult knows that when kids are disappointed you MUST REMEDY, there’s no excuse. So we decide to run to Calcara salt pans in one hour and half.

Ok!

Also because the lights after 5 p.m. change and among water, salt, flamingos and sparkle it’s a very romantic little escape. So let’s go fast, direction Nubia up to Calcara salt pan gate. Once you can enter, now no longer, but Marruggio is our friend and so we can do it (it’s not indifference, it’s male confidence in the friendship 😀 )

And indeed when we’re surprised they say to go back, the entrance is forbidden, WWF ordered it. Optimistic guy goes back by car and I take some pictures easy and without ringing mobiles near. Only pools and water. Silence.

Calcara salt pans

Calcara Salt Pans View
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Silence Sparkle Soil Sun

Calcara salt pan in Sicily

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Silence
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Trapani salt pans
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But silence becomes to make a noise. The water isn’t all fixed in the pools, there is a little salty river from the sea, where there are those few strange plants, green blots among salt and red soil desert. The water flowing is so soft that you can hear it barely but under the small waves the river is alive and something, maybe a fish, scares you with its sudden spurt, but you can see just the circles. It’ s the place or the moment or both in which you think nothing.

You just see.

You see and listen.

And enjoy it without thinking.

You feel it

Boat in Trapani salt pans

Insect in salt pans

Now birds let their voice be heard, desert is their and their calls are different, strange, they’re similar to a dialog, a tit for tat, not all toghether, maybe because here the Nature is free to express itself. During the breaks of this dialog I hear almost ant steps. Again, I want Nature once again, I want peace just one more time. It’s the time to walk along the thin walleds between pools.

A little way full of unknown plants and water everywhere, by now I’m here and there’s no going back, so I continue the walk among clouds mirrored in the water and pick up shells under webs.

clouds mirrored in the water

plants in salt pan

unknowon plants in Trapani salt pans

clouds mirrored in the water of salt pan

Tuff and shells of salt pan

Here the human presence is far, there are some turists, in the usual big main way, that one seems authorized. I don’t know if I can walk along this wall, simply nobody says me no and for now I enjoy the light desert, where ever and anon I see an abandoned thing, a wheel barrow, the salt harvest is beginning but not today.

shells in salt pans

Trapani salt pans

cocoon on the plant

salt pans particular

In this moment my prince charming arrives and fortunately he doesn’t think “She’s totally fool” seeing me during this strange walking.

Toghether we jump from a wall to another, staying away, for this time, the familiar wind-mill, going around it to see it in a different way, watching the “ammucciati” (hidden) sides, up to a tiny beach, there is also a beach in the salt pan, low shores of martian soil, incrusted with salt and wetted by terrestrial water. The little black fishes swim near the shore without fear of you, you are big but don’t exist for them.

Trapani salt pans view

a beach in the salt pan

red soil encrusted with salt

shells in salt pans in Sicily

salt pans in Trapani with windmill

Trapani salt pan particular

In the end you arrive here, the desert changes, from hot red to “ice” white that burns, makes your skin like leather mirroring a thousand of suns and blind you but the oasis, near and far in the same time, doesn’t realize it and squads of flamingos lift orderly.

By now we are in the main way frequented by turists. One hour and half is past.

clouds in salt pan

my feet in salt pan bridge

prince charming at the salt pan

salt pans pools

salty desert

clouds mirrored in the salt pan pools

salt in the pool

salt pan pools

flowers in salt pan

Also in the salt pan there are flowers!!!!! 🙂

If you want to correct my English (please, be kind because I’m a sensitive person and I’m learning) or suggest something, you can write to fioredinespula@gmail.com
If you want to sleep in Belveliero you can write here bebilveliero@gmail.com (write FIORE in the email 😉 )
If you prefer to sleep in Granveliero and partecipate to cooking workshops write to granveliero@gmail.com

The Mangiapane Cave (“EatBread Cave” :D ), Second part….where the goats say hi!

Grotta Mangiapane a Custonaci
I dont know why but I really do enjoy taking photos of plants :D

I dont know why but I really do enjoy taking photos of plants 😀

Se vuoi leggerlo in ITALIANO ecco qui.

We left with the terrible Medlars that made fun of me for my photographic passion here… fortunatly they meet Mr Mangiapane and begin to talk with him. He is the old keeper and lives in one of the houses of the village.
He’s relative of the last owners of the cave (yes, there is someone in this world that had a cave 😛 ).

Here one house is still inhabited :)

Here one house is still inhabited 🙂

Giovanni likes old people’s stories and loves this place because when he was a kid, he played here and his grandma’s family lived in the village. Then he and Mr Mangiapane meet again and toghether with Signor Carlino decide to remember the past drinking a glass of red wine (Signor Carlino NEVER says No! so look out for your offers to him! 😀 ). While they are in a authentic ancient kitchen , me and the Poetess can discover this place.

Two inquiring Medlars (+ a well)

Two inquiring Medlars (+ a well)

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secrets....

secrets….

You can't see them but there are chickens here (peacock is a favored animal)

You can’t see them but there are chickens here (peacock is a favored animal)

The cave seems a giant’s house and the little houses his toys, maybe Polifemo is arriving, we hear also a pealing in the distance, two goats are climbing down the mountain to return to their little cabin in the village. Where can you see the goats climbing down today? Here everything is colour and peace and I imagine the primitive men who went home every evening and benefit the panoramic view on Cornino Bay during the sunset. Today the sea is grey because it’s March but before long it will be only shining and the sunset pure rainbow. Considering that tomorrow is monday, I envy Mr Mangiapane. He can forget everybody and everything but maybe others forgot him. Here. When you are in isolated places you can abstract from your routine and forget things to do, duties, responsabilities and you wouldn’t go back, three hours are few but I would forget for a little while yet and stay here, in peace. Egoism (but maybe only it’s only tiredness for daily pressure) and hypocrisy blab for me. Living like primitive men, forgetting home, family, university, staying with goats….also if I can live without a bathroom, running water and electricity for indeterminate period I doubt that I could stay far from everything for long time…..maybe because we want to forget something or somebody for a little while but we don’t want to be forgotten by others. Tiredness, Hypocrisy….I want to forget also you and enjoy the beauty of this place, a quite and wonderful place, with a new air and relaxing green because this short trip is ending and there will be neither tiredness nor hypocrisy but only the peace of this place and tomorrow will be another day

Polifemo's House

Polifemo’s House

No bats (for the time being)

No bats (for the time being)

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Polifemo's ricotta cheese

Polifemo’s ricotta cheese

The mountains are reddish-brown with white injuries, they seem Polifemo’s giant baked ricotta cheese! (yes, food is my perversion, I see it everywhere ) . During our walk me and the Poetess approach to the smithy and find many abandoned rusty things. By now it’s dark and we don’t understand what are but anyway I find a iron heart and I take it with ironic displeasure of the Poetess who will declare to all that I “stole her heart away!” 😀 …. Maybe I wouldn’t have to take it but it was thrown away and I liked the idea of finding a heart here because it was like this one year ago but that’s a different story…… 😉

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Wall's secrets....

Wall’s secrets….

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....and Mr Mangiapane's secrets! :)

….and Mr Mangiapane’s secrets! 🙂

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There aren't only happy goats here....

There aren’t only happy goats here….

I found again my heart :)

I found again my heart 🙂

Itinerary: You can reach the Cave
1) by car, from seafront Dante Alighieri go on Nord-Eastward, enter SP 20 (Trapani – Bonagia). At the rotary turn on the left, SP 18 (Via dei Marmi) for Custonaci up to Scurati
2) by bus (AST company)

Distance: 19 Km

Time: 30/40 min

If you want to correct my English (please, be kind because I’m a sensitive person and I’m learning) or suggest something, you can write to fioredinespula@gmail.com
If you want to sleep in Belveliero you can write here bebilveliero@gmail.com (write FIORE in the email 😉 )
If you prefer to sleep in Granveliero and have breakfast with me write to granveliero@gmail.com

The Mangiapane Cave (“EatBread Cave” :D ), First part

Carretto siciliano alla Grotta Mangiapane sicilian cart in Custonaci

Se vuoi leggerlo in ITALIANO ecco qui.

(I drafted this post in March, so some weeks ago, but I publish it only now. I copy it as I wrote because it seems nice and….forgive me, unknown reader 😛 )

Giovanni and me are fond of the cave Mangiapane, so we decided to take a trip together with The Poetess and Signor Carlino, the other exuberant Nespula (Medlar)

As usual we start from our ‘general headquarter’ in the port (but I talked about also here) and drive through seafront on the way to Custonaci.
This drive is relaxing on Sunday afternoon and you can forget the end of weekend for a little while yet, also if you must do many and many and many things at home instead of driving among the lands >_> ….but this street is between the sea and the uncultivated fields, full of yellow flowers and green grass, and farther there are the mountains, sliced to extract the marble. Ever and anon we surpass little groups of houses and old people who, complicit the good season, exit and talk about the priest and the grandchildren , because yesterday the gossip wasn’t enough and by now there is the time for everything and Monday isn’t a working day. It’s so strange going through these lands during this hour on this day of the week.

The time dilates also if the break is finished and the atmosphere is so weak, but the air so fresh and lively that you can feel that there is time for everything (actually it’s an illusion. I hate you, Monday). During almost all the journey, we drive through a large street surrounded by the fields but, in the end, it becomes very tight, between small houses built nearer the mountain. I don’t know if this is the only way or it’s because my zito (boyfriend) has this passion for millimetric driving but here it’s wonderful! You can harvest the lemons directly from the trees only sticking the arm out the window or count the guys overcrowded in a car, four in front, five in back and three IN the trunk (also the young people have a passion for the ‘optimistic millimetrism’ ). And finally we arrive to Mangiapane cave.

Every time I came here there’s not somebody and then I could benefit the peace of this place.

This cave was the refuge for the primitive men and it was occupied until the ’50s! It’s true! Indeed there is the very little village of Scurati, empty but not abandoned because it’s the seat of a Living Museum of Arts and Crafts during many periods of the year, in particular Christmas. The village begins out but continues into the cave. The houses are closed but in some of them you can see another lost ancient world by a little window.

Village IN the cave

Village IN the cave

The village, the cave, Custonaci view....this place is magic...

The village, the cave, Custonaci view….this place is magic…

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A view to a lost world

A view to a lost world

Oven, Oregano and

Oven, Oregano and “agghia” (garlic) 🙂

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Mr scampering peacock

Mr scampering peacock

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Mrs Peacock

Mrs Peacock

Here there are peace and silence and you can find a peacock walking free or cocks prisoned in the cages. From the cave the view is particular, the lateral rocks seem removed awnings to let look Cornino Bay. This place is so wonderful and quiet that also the two Nespule become calm and respectful…for 50 seconds, then they start again to make fun of me for my photographic mania for the sea, the plants and the houses but maybe they aren’t afraid of forgetting things and changing memories…. 🙂

Cornino Bay.  Primitive men  saw this heaven...(without houses :P )

Cornino Bay. Primitive men saw this heaven…(without houses 😛 )

Here there are ‘zabbare‘ (agaves), purple bouganville, prickly pear cactus with yellow flowers, green medlars, scented white orange blossoms, peacocks and goat’s skulls, milk chocolate mountains, melons and pumpkins abandoned on the roof (it’s our custom, we leave them also in the balcony in summer and autumn, because they are very resistant fruits), dogs like Peter’s Nebbia (do you know Heidi anime?), Friends and Love, I want to take and remember them when this day will be finished.

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“Nature, Nature, I’m your bride. Take me!”

Itinerary: You can reach the Cave
1) by car, from seafront Dante Alighieri go on Nord-Eastward, enter SP 20 (Trapani – Bonagia). At the rotary turn on the left, SP 18 (Via dei Marmi) for Custonaci up to Scurati
2) by bus (AST company)

Distance: 19 Km

Time: 30/40 min

If you want to correct my English (please, be kind because I’m a sensitive person and I’m learning) or suggest something, you can write to fioredinespula@gmail.com
If you want to sleep in Belveliero you can write here bebilveliero@gmail.com (write FIORE in the email 😉 )
If you prefer to sleep in Granveliero and have breakfast with me write to granveliero@gmail.com