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August 23, 2012


                    (PART 3: Plants and Animals)

      The vacation saga continues with Part 3 (check out Part 1 and Part 2) - interesting plants and animals (we don't encounter in the city).

Every village in the Greek countryside has a "platano" tree (which is a kind of Sycamore Maple tree) in the middle of the village or town square. It offers plenty of shade and often tavernas set their tables right under its branches.

This next plant really astonished us with the pretty complexity of its flower bud...

It grows wildly and as you can see it is a climber kind of plant (vine) as it had covered a whole  fence...

...and asking the locals I found out that they call it the "clock" (for obvious reasons) and that occasionally it produces some kind of edible fruit!!!

I did my research and learned that its scientific name is Passiflora caerulea or simply Blue Passion Flower .

We came across this tree when we went to my mom's hometown up high in the mountains of Ipiros. It was a wild type of plum tree.

Needless to say, we all ate many of these plums. Many!

In the same area we found a lot of wild oregano growing all over the place. Oregano found in mountainous areas is far more aromatic than all the other kinds. All of us, my kids included, set to the task of gathering all the oregano we could possibly carry in plastic bags that we happened to have with us.

We tied it in small bouquets and let it dry for a few days. You see how much oregano we got?! I'm set for a year. Yes, I do use a lot of oregano in my cooking, as all Greeks do!

Then we shake and rub it and keep the leaves and flower buds. (Preferably in a glass jar)

The plants were not so much fun for my kids as the animals were. We saw the flying kind, the walking kind and the crawling kind. These photos are just some of the animals we came across during our vacation...

a little sparrow

some kind of wild duck, I think, we saw it at the river and was not close enough

a proud Cockerel

a young turkey

Both of the above along with some chicken got lots of exercise running around trying to escape from my children!!! 

This next photo was shot right outside my aunt's house where on top of a pole  the locals had secured an iron basket to help the stork build a nest. As a matter of fact there were two storks, a couple building their home. It was precious!

What would the Greek countryside be without goats and sheep ? !!!

They seemed to like to pose for me!

Strike a pose! Vogue!

The cow though, was a little shy.

"Are you done yet?"

a seagull

a hedgehog

a beetle

I'm really proud of these next photos as I managed to capture a butterfly using a simple photo camera and its zoom lenses...

I hope you liked my photos. Please let me know what your impressions are. I love comments! Don't forget to check back for Part 4 (and last) - my mom's hometown and places we saw on our way back home!

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  1. Your photographs are beautiful. What a lovely place! Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Thank you for your nice words! I really do like taking photos!

  2. More great vacation pics. I especially liked the ones of the storks, hadn't seen them before. Can't wait to see what you have in the next batch.

    1. Glad you liked them! To be honest I don't think I had seen a stork before, at least not so close(even with a zoom lense) and so clear!

  3. Great article!! Discover exciting things to do in Santorini!