A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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The Death of an Old Friend

I returned from visiting a friend in Rhodes yesterday to find this once old magnificent cypress tree being cut down. It is now just a shadow of its former self and tomorrow it will be no longer. No reason has been given and as far as I can see it is not rotten nor damaged. You will have to ask the caretaker or God.

From our balcony I have watched scops owls, little owls, kestrels and the odd hoopoe perch on its branches. Coaltits, chaffinches, sparrows, serins, warblers and goldfinches all have spent countless hours feeding on its limbs. Lizards, geckos, butterflies and the odd snake all have haunted its interior. It has provided shade for endless worshipers from the fierce Symi summer sun.

If I can bare to, I will count the rings on its trunk when it is down but my guess it pre-dates the present church by a hundred years or more and was probably planted to act as shade for a much older church. We will see.

Cupressus sempervirens horizontalis.

RIP old friend, you will be missed.


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