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Posts Tagged ‘sun’

Beautiful days and beautiful nights

July 24, 2013 2 comments
Sun and moon mosaic

Sun and moon mosaic

The photo shows the Lebanese marble mosaic in the middle of our patio.

Here it’s shining from the rain, but mostly it’s not very noticeable, particularly being under the table.

It’s a reminder of the twin faces of the 24-hour cycle.

There’s daytime, when the sun’s an infra-red lamp on the shoulders and tiles are too hot to walk on with bare feet.

Then there’s the warm night, silvery with moonlight, calling to some primitive spirit in you to run and run through the bushes and up the mountain.

Sometimes an owl calls, and sometimes, like last night, a nightjar’s churring drowns out the trilling of the crickets.

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Yellow chamomile flower

June 24, 2013 Leave a comment
Yellow chamomile flower with a red spider right in the centre

Yellow chamomile flower with a red spider right in the centre

 

Yellow chamomile is a very cheerful plant: tiny, perfect suns on straight stems, and aromatic leaves.

Posting the flower today is a bit ironic because our hot weather has been interrupted by thunder storms.

The ground smells gorgeous, though.

Plus I don’t have to water anything and the water tank gets a top-up!

Sunshine!

June 16, 2013 4 comments
The sunburst of a Smooth Goldenfleece - epitomises summer

The sunburst of a Smooth Goldenfleece epitomises summer

At long last – summer!

If winter is Italy’s best kept secret, summer is Italy’s fixture.

It’s not like Britain where you have one glorious day and then it rains and you say: “I think that was summer.”

Here you wake day after day to hot sun, cool shade, bright flowers and (in our case) a brilliant aquamarine swimming pool!

The downside is insects, but being half way up a mountain they don’t bother us a great deal.

Some insects are a joy, of course: butterflies, potter wasps, crickets, fireflies.

The fireflies appear when we’re having supper outside after dark – tiny pulsing lights that could be sparks from a fire, or bits of tinsel in a snowstorm globe.

They make a display for our enjoyment but at the same time they remind us that the night belongs more to the wild creatures than to us.

A ladybird wakes from hibernation

March 27, 2013 Leave a comment
A ladybird in the axle of a clematis twig

A ladybird emerging

This ladybird had a good spot to hibernate in, tucked in the axle of a clematis stem.

It was just stirring sleepily when I saw it.

It will have felt the warmth of the sun, like the fat flower buds around it which will open soon.

Indoor swimming pool

December 29, 2012 Leave a comment
Corner of the swimming pool with bar of sunlight

Corner of the swimming pool with bar of sunlight

Italy may have cold winters, but ‘sunny’ would definitely be the default weather.

Positioned behind the patio door (a garage door when we bought the house) the indoor pool gets a generous helping of sunshine on many winter days.

The sun might warm the water by half a degree, certainly no more, but the psychological effect is far more significant.

While I’d never contemplate swimming at 18, 19 or 20 degrees Celsius without a wetsuit after dark or on dark days, bright aquamarine water lures me in without one and so far it doesn’t seem to have done me any harm.

It’s also a lot less hassle.

Snow and roses

December 4, 2012 Leave a comment
Snow on Mount Subasio

Snow on Mount Subasio

Today it’s been thundering, raining and hailing, and there’s been a black cloud sitting on the mountains like a Persian cat.

Yesterday, in complete contrast, the sun was lighting up the first snowfall on Mount Subasio, the whaleback mountain between us and Assisi.

Roses, I thought, made a very happy foreground.

Evening dew

October 19, 2012 2 comments

Dew on a cobweb

It’s not in fact evening dew, but morning dew which lasted all day between big stones on the north side of the lid of our septic tank.

The sun is ferociously hot these days but the nights are cold and shadows keep their cool.

I found the droplet-laden web in its not very romantic location just as dusk was descending.

I wonder how it affects the spider. Is such a visible web any good for catching things? Maybe it gave up on it and went to spin another one.