Posts Tagged ‘mountains’


September 6, 2016 Leave a comment
Dwarfed by mountains, Castelluccio clings to its hummock

Castelluccio, dwarfed by mountains

This is possibly the most romantic place I know.

It’s a village perched on an outcrop high in the mountains on the edge of a vast ancient lake bed.

I feel it ought to be inhabited by poets and artists, but in reality it’s more a place for hard-bitten shepherds and farmers used to isolation and long winters.

In due season, the lentil fields are full of poppies and cornflowers, but more magical for me are the expanses of wild flowers which change as the year progresses and reach a climax in early summer just before the hay is cut.

The people of Castelluccio have been leaving in droves in the wake of the recent earthquake and an appeal has been made to try to urge them to return by celebrating the place in words and photographs.

Grapes at sunset

August 12, 2013 4 comments
Still sour

Still sour

As the sun sets behind the mountains, its last rays shine horizontally into the garden.

Last night they caught these bunches of grapes.

If they’d been quite ripe, as I’d hoped, they wouldn’t have presented such beautiful clusters of varicoloured jewels.

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Bonny Umbria

July 20, 2013 3 comments
Emblem of Scotland in Umbria

Emblem of Scotland in Umbria

A few Scottish-type thistles like this one stand bold by the edge of the olive grove.

They’re way taller than I am: I had to look up to take the photo.

I wouldn’t want too many of them because they can rather dominate.

But they do look splendid against a backdrop of ancient, rounded blue mountains.

Grand Piano

June 13, 2013 3 comments
The 'piano grande'. Note the town on the hill at the back.

The ‘piano grande’. Note the town on the hill at the back – Castelluccio. The dark splashes are cloud shadows.

The ‘piano grande’ or great plain, jocularly referred to by expats as the Grand Piano, is one the wonders of Umbria.

It’s the dried bed of a lake ringed by mountains, famed for the variety and profusion of its wild flowers.

We went there yesterday with good weather at long last, and breathed the pure air like a desert-wanderer might drink cold water.

There were larks trilling, and crickets singing all among the short grass and flowers – a mix of sounds as mesmeric as disco music.

It’s the most romantic place I know – and that’s before I even start on the flowers!

Flowers on a slope down to the former lake

Flowers on the slopes of the former lake

Looking forth this morning

February 8, 2013 Leave a comment

The snow is well on the way to melting now, but these are the sights which greeted me when I looked out of the window first thing this morning.

Out the front. The drive is completely covered.

Out the front. Drive completely covered.

Out the back. Mountains whited out.

Out the back. Mountains whited out.

Categories: Weather Tags: , , , , ,

Dug in

November 30, 2012 8 comments

Today we received a delivery of wood pellets – a full pallet, 78 sacks – which we hope will see us through the worst of the winter.

Just as well to be ready: there was the first snow on the mountains today.

The dogs immediately took possession of the new lay-out and didn’t seem at all perturbed by the stacks which form a bunker facing inwards towards the stove.

The dogs in front of the pellet sack bunker

The dogs in front of the pellet sack bunker

Kepler put in an appearance to see what was going on, then scarpered off again.

His normal place, on the blanket right in front of the stove, is still vacant in the photo but won’t be for long I dare say.

White-capped mountain

April 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Snow on Monte Subasio on Easter Monday

It must have gone on snowing higher up in the mountains yesterday after it had stopped here.

This morning there was a white cap on Mount Subasio.

So we have spring anemones, flowering rosemary and a peach tree in full leaf in the foreground, and snow on the mountain in the background.

Italy is nothing if not a land of contrasts.

I hope the plants won’t have suffered too much from the unseasonal weather, though.