Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Blue and white

A middle-aged neighbour saw me using my camera this morning. I hesitate to say that he saw me taking photos of the roadside flowers, because I doubt that he realised what I was doing. I explained exactly what I was doing which was just that: photographing roadside flowers.
My favorite flowers at this season - Daucus carotta and Chicorium - growing right outside my house. The chicorium flowers close as the sun becomes stronger, so it's only feasible to take the photos early in the morning.
"Oh, those useless things! What can you possibly find fascinating about them?" 
Daucus carotta and Chicorium are both edible species - wild carrot and chicory
I knew he was going to say this. It's an automatic fear reaction to the unknown, the strange, the odd, the peculiar; it's scary watching a sole minority doing what the ramining majortiy would never do.  
Wild chicory can be quite tough and fibrous, so it's only good for eating when it is at an early growth stage
Taking pleasure in simple things was probably a favorite Greek past time in the pre-EU days, sadly replaced quite quickly once excess cash settled into the locals' pockets.
If you know your chicorium species well, you will instantly recognise this one as Chicorium spinosum, the well known Cretan horta species commonly called stamnagathi, due to its thorns that were once used to cover terracotta urns to prevent crawling creatures from entering them. This is not a wild species - it was growing on the other side of the fence, which constitutes my neighbour's garden. Although Chicorium spinaosum grows wildly, it does not do so at low altitude - this was grown from seed or transplanted from wild plants.
Some people are finding it very hard to return to valuing the simple things in life, but at least they can recall them. The problem is that their offspring were never taught to value them - so what is left for them? Life always looks greener on the other side, especially when you can't see the foliage on your own side.

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2 comments:

  1. I love these posts of yours. Unfortunately, here in the US, most of this folk knowledge was lost a generation or more ago. We'd love to know this sort of thing, but it's very hard to find someone who knows it & can teach it. Thank goodness for the internet!

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  2. I agree with Anna. That is why I find Maria's posts so interesting.

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