The wildlife here is extraordinary; little geckos appear on the walls in the evening and eat any moths that are gathering around the outside lights; bright green lizards of all different sizes dart among the rocks on the pathway down to the pool. Regular lizards laze in the sun on the rockery garden and there are sheep and goats in the field next door. There is a carob tree by the pool that is a lovely shape and provides much needed shade but the leaves are constantly moulting and the carob pods are beginning to go black and drop off and no-one likes them much apart from the sheep and goats who stand on their back legs to reach the carob branches, quite funny; and I think Holland & Barratt must do as they sell a particularly unpleasant chocolate alternative in their health food shops made of carob. Didn’t fool me though.
There are loads of extraordinary black stealth bomber type bees that lurk amongst the flowers, but I think, and hope, are relatively harmless. The cicadas though are something else. Not only are they incredibly ugly, I am sure their mothers love them, but what is the point of them. As soon as the sun comes up and shines on them and the temperature gets to the right hotness, they start making this awful racket. It’s fine if its just background wallpaper type noise, which actually sounds like summer in the mediterranean, but if you are sitting under a tree and one suddenly decides to start buzzing, you can’t hear yourself speak, let alone read. Then sometimes, if disturbed, they all just fly out of the tree spraying something unpleasant and fly right into you.
The birds round the pool are just so lovely. The swallows perch in a row on the railing at the end of the pool like crotchets on the stave. They fly round in circles and as they approach the water they dunk themselves in for a quick cool off, take off again and come round time and again. They don’t even mind if I am swimming too, and are quite happy to share their swimming pool with me. I have heard of swimming with dolphins, but swallows? Not a good photograph, but I think gives an idea.
All along the National Road are huge colourful bushes of oleander, red, pink and white which seem to grow like weeds. I am taking cuttings and hope they will have started rooting in their jam jars before we leave shortly to head back to Devon. The houses mostly have wonderful climbing bougainvillea against their walls, the most vibrant purples, pinks, reds, you name it. I know this will not grow back home unless I had a large heated conservatory, so am just enjoying what I see here. Then there are the olive groves, all over this area little olive orchards – right word?- with stone walls surrounding them and some with obviously hugely old trees. Some of these are beautifully well looked after and other olive groves look slightly neglected, but all the trees are now covered in little tiny olives starting to ripen in the sun.
What else, oh yes, we had a little mouse running around on the terrace which was very happy to stop for a photograph and quite enjoyed the attention. Then it got bored and ran off, straight into the Googeldog’s paws and jaws where it was enjoyed as an amuse-bouche before dinner. Poor little cretan mouse!