This is the rosa variabilis against a backdrop of evening mountains.
The roses aren’t especially varied in colour here but I don’t mind a bit.
This morning it was brilliantly sunny. The dew was sparkling and the golden leaves swam in a blue sky.
I had to go into the valley on various errands because Clive is due to be admitted to a rehabilitation centre next week, and as I went down I sank deeper and deeper into fog.
On my return home, I broke the ceiling of the fog and popped into the sunshine, like surfacing out of a cold and murky pond.
But almost as soon as I’d parked up, I noticed that the mist was rising. The photo shows the nearest mountain just peeping out before it’s engulfed.
Then the fog reached me where I was. It was like day had turned to night in the blink of an eye. It could have been a different day; a different season. I was very glad of the blazing fire in our stove.
I took this photo with a zoom lens from our back door this morning. It shows Monte Subasio – the great whaleback mountain in the background – with the radio mast that transmits the signal for Radio Subasio, a private radio station.
Later in the day I was the other side of Monte Subasio, getting the car loaded up with sacks of pellets. The mountain loomed over us, riding above the mist, with the snow much more in evidence.
A bell was tolling out of the mist.
“What church is that?” I asked the lad who was loading the car. “And why is it tolling in the middle of the day?”
“Oh that’s Santa Maria. There’s a funeral.”
It was almost like the world stopped. Froze. A snowy mountain, a church bell and the thought of someone slipping away into eternity.
“It’s having a real effect on me,” I told the lad.
He smiled, so I’m guessing he understood.
This morning the tops of the mountains looked like blue sponge cake dusted with icing sugar.
I knew the snow would melt quickly, just like the hoar frost had already melted to pearly drops on the roses.
It’s a taste of things to come, but I love this season of pictorial contrasts.
If Clive were able to stand up and look out of the window next to him, this is what he would see:-
A valley brimming with stippled colour and dappled light, and beyond it, steep pastureland bathed in sunshine and forested mountains blue with distance.
We call it the magic valley, not without reason.
This part of the garden is my very favourite but it came together by accident.
I planted the wisteria half way up the steps in the picture imagining it would grow both upwards and downwards.
Naturally it only grew up, so to channel its ebullience when it reached the top, I made an arch for it to twine over.
The white balustrade, rather than a romantic feature, was conceived originally as a safety barrier round the roof of a water tank which should have been buried underground.
It all happened as if an artist had taken charge and was turning our mistakes to advantage.
But with the green hills and blue mountains beyond we couldn’t have gone very far wrong – everything we created made a frame for them.
We went to Foligno this morning and found that our usual road was still closed as a result of the landslip which happened on 2nd April.
It seems to be taking an inordinate amount of time to sort it out.
We ordered some proper exterior paint for the window surrounds, bought some fruit and veg, then headed back.
Neither of us remembered the diversion this time so we missed our short cut and were forced onto the ‘standard’ route.
It was a detour of more than half an hour which took us close to the face of towering mountains and down precipitous narrow roads between olive groves, before finally abandoning us to our own devices completely off the beaten track.
If it hadn’t been for Clive following SatNav, and me recognising the site of visits to a previous doctor and a previous vet, I reckon we’d be out there still.
The best idea would then have been to park the car, stretch out in the flowery grass of an olive grove, and eat our fruit.