Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spring in Rome

Last Angelus... not a dry eye in the Piazza.

"You are Peter, stay."

Conclave adventures: Vatican's media centre

The only clear shot I got of the white smoke.

Rather a large crowd.

The long, weird pause where he just stood there.
"Pssst... buddy, you're supposed to wave..."

For the first five minutes, I just called him Pope New Guy, then someone with a smartphone got it from the interwebs. Yes, standing in the Piazza listening to the announcement in person, we still needed the internet to tell us what was going on.

Santa Marinella in the spring... April is best in Italy.

Roman Acanthus Spinosus. I was going to dig some up and put it in a pot on the balcony, but had second thoughts when I saw how huge they get.

Close up of the purple flowers on that tree. Cercis siliquastrum.

Fibonacci was here... lots of spiky Mediterranean things around.

"I live here. I really live here." Sometimes I have to say it out loud because it just seems unreal.

Pink Oxalis

Flowering crabapple

April, definitely Italy's best month.

Some relative of the Yucca plant, they grow long strands of pointy leaves in a bunch then this flower spike comes up. V. beautiful.

This stuff grows all over the hills, but I haven't found it in any of my wildflower books.

Freesias growing wild in a cow field.

Also still working on this one. Square stem and purple bract flowers on a single spike with opposed toothed leaves and furry surface. A bunch of taxonomic characteristics that would put it in the mint family, but no minty scent.

Santa Marinella is built on the teeny little strip of flattish land between the beach and the base of the hills. In about five minutes walking, you find yourself at the base of a very steep hill that takes about 1/2 an hour or 45 minutes to climb. At the top is a plateau of rolling countryside leading off into the Etruscan hills. All farmland up there.

It's my favourite walk. (I think that's a volcano in the far background).

I love the zoom on my camera.

One of the older farms... typical Lazio stone construction.

Looking positively English, it's so green and pleasant. The yellow stuff blooms all through the spring, turning the fields golden. It's wild mustard.

Borage, useful medicinal plant, and you can candy the blossoms. Watch out for the prickles though.

On the Via Marguta in Wisteria season.

I gatti di Roma...

I make a joke about modern "art" - that it's the "school of nailing chairs to walls". And here they are in a gallery.

At the Santa Marinella train station. Some people see weeds, I see flowers and a lovely natural garden.

Lots of thistle-like spiky Mediterannean things. Anyone?

Greater Plantain. I know how to make them into projectiles. Do you?

People vastly underestimate the beauty of grasses. So elegant.

Dramatic cat.


Santiago (friend but not a traddie) said...

If Pope Emeritus saw the way you undervalue his successor, he would be sad

Anonymous said...

How beautiful. Definitely my favourite place on this planet.


Teresa B. said...

I am not a plant or flower person - but those are beautiful pictures!

tubbs said...

Is that last thistlely thing some kind of artichoke?...sure looks it.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...


no, but artichokes, carcioffi in Italian, are a type of thistle, so good guess.

Anonymous said...

Is it Cynara cardunculus (or cardoon)?


Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

I'm certain that there's lots of Cynara cardunculus around here, but the big artichoke-looking one isn't it.