A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

header photo

Blog posts December 2016

Happy New Year

January 1, 2017

An end to another year and the spectacular sunset over Tilos seen from a very cold and windy Vigla on Symi.

The clear conditions allowed us to see far and wide. The island on the left in the below picture is Halki but behind it is Karpathos confirmed by a compass reading and plotted on a map at about 110 kilometres. I've seen this once bef…

Read more

Crocus on the Vigla

December 31, 2016

Lots of lovely crocuses up at the Vigla. I'm waiting for a confirmation but possibly a new species for Symi; Crocus biflorus. At the very least I haven't seen this set of markings on a crocus anywhere else on Symi but this species is very, very variable and has many subspecies.

 

 

Read more

Finding Colour

December 30, 2016

After another cold and very wet day on Symi I was concentrating on finding colour in the grey environment. Below a row of cyclamens waiting for some warm sun.

Last seasons medlar fruits slowly rotting away......

A collection of leaves and acorns from the kermes oak tree.

And some nuts I found lying under a almond tree.

Read more

An Overcast Wet Day on Symi

December 28, 2016

A short walk up to Ksissos and back before the heavens opened up.

Read more

A Merry Christmas to You All!

December 25, 2016

Oranges

December 23, 2016

The orange tree at our house has produced just a couple of bunches like this unlike last year where we had 200+. No marmalade making but fortunately I've still got a few jars left to see me through the winter.

Read more

Terraces

December 22, 2016

Ancient terraces waiting for the winter rains.

Read more

Winter Solstice

December 21, 2016

The sun setting over Symi viewed from the Kastro on the old village at 16.10pm today. A bitting cold wind has set in and there's little wildlife to see or photograph at the moment. Never mind there's always the Christmas sherry.

Read more

Painted Lady

December 16, 2016

Wildlife seems to be a bit thin on the ground while these low temperatures persist but a painted is warming itself in the sun and a bracket fungus sits on a tamarisk tree.

Read more

Marathounda

December 14, 2016

It was 4.5C last night and blowing a force 5 Bf but not before we got down to Marathounda for a scout around for some stones for Marcia.

Not much about although a nice white wagtail scoured the beach undisturbed as did a blue rock thrush.

The friar's cowls are just coming into flower and a cicada keeps its head down in the strengt…

Read more

Robin

December 13, 2016

This winter there are no shortages of robins on Symi and unusually there are two or three in my locality of the old village. They issue short bursts of song that are typical of their winter territorial call. Interestingly enough birders on Crete and Rhodes have noticed an increase in winter robins and these birds will migrate south when conditions …

Read more

Bonelli's Eagle

December 12, 2016

A very distant shot of a Bonelli's eagle flying over Symi, but I got a much closer view of it before I set my camera up. Elsewhere a local little owl surveying its surrounds.

Read more

Hippocratic Tree

December 11, 2016

Following on from yesterday, here is a photo of the plane tree that Hippocrates reportedly taught his medical students under. The tree is supported by scaffolding (zimmerframe!) but is unlikely to be contemporary with Hippocrates at 2000 + years old. Estimates range around 500 years old and the seeds from this tree have been spread all around the W…

Read more

Askeplion, Kos

December 10, 2016

The 3C BC temple at Askeplion on Kos sits on the side of a hill overlooking Kos town about 8 kilometres away. Asclepius was the Greek god of medicine whose attribute was a snake that he would release while his patients were asleep. The snake would lick the patients and a recovery was made. In Greek mythology and religion, he was descended from Apol…

Read more

Colchicum Pusillum

December 8, 2016

The views from Stavros Polemou are sometimes, depending on the haze, very good and the little church that sits on a high rock on a very small patch of land is usually covered in wild flowers. The Autumn crocus Colchicum pusillum was showing well two days ago and no doubt there will be other species to follow.

Read more

A Curio of Mosses, Lichens, Fungi and Algae.

December 7, 2016

A walk in the woods yesterday produces very little in the way of flowers so I'm looking at toadstools which seem grow in the needle litter below the pine trees, moss which grows anywhere where there is little or no sun and lichens which have similar requirements. All seem to thrive on the recent rains and survive the many months of drought that we …

Read more

Spring & Autumn

December 5, 2016

It's a strange time of year when the rains trigger growth and the land turns green after many months of drought. This is called the first spring on Symi. Terraces are prepared, here, and oats are planted for feed for the goats and sheep in the summer months. This valonia oak keeps to a more traditional cycle of Autumn and there are still plenty of …

Read more

Mediterranean Medlar

December 4, 2016

The mediterranean medlar is a close relative of our (UK) hedgerow hawthorn and is widely cultivated for its edible fruits which have a pleasant but mildly acid taste. According to my reference source this plant is only truly native to Crete but grows everywhere from France to Cyprus. Crataegus azarolus.

Read more

Crocus

December 3, 2016

I've shown this species before but it's such a lovely specimen with it's long stripy leaves and showing the stamens and styles. Crocus tournefortii subspecies boryi.

Read more

Earthballs

December 2, 2016

The rain has brought out lots of green shoots and a couple of earth balls probably from the Sclerodermatacae family, but please correct me if I'm wrong! The bottom one could easily be mistaken for another stone on the path.

 

Read more

20 blog posts