JULY 2008 | JULY 2007

July 2008 continued...

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Campanula cretica / Cretan Campanula / Καμπανουλα η κρητικί / Kretische Glockenblume - This is one of the flowers that I have long wanted to photograph. When I eventually found it this year, I was not disappointed by its appearance. Growing on a roadside bank en route to Elafonissi, I was stunned by the masses of blooms which were highlighted by the early sunshine. Absolutely superb.

Tiny flower - This little flower head was almost finished when I came across it. I think it may be Valerianella, but I am not totally sure. Identification, as always, would be much appreciated.

Zelkova abelicea / Αμπυελιτσά, ανέγνωρο / Zelkovie - I have tried several times this year to take decent photos of Z. abelicea, without much success. The specimen in the east of the island is surrounded by a picket fence and other trees, making a long shot very unsatisfactory. So I have contented myself with taking close ups of leaves, trunk, bark etc. Z. abelicea is a very pretty small tree, which is endemic to Crete and is becoming more rare. It deserves our protection.

Agave americana / Αθάνατος / Americanische Agave - Another difficult-to-photograph plant. Having noticed it in flower for the first time this year, I desperately wanted to get a close up of the flowers. Not an easy task and one that has so far eluded me. Thoughts of carrying a step ladder with me have crossed my mind – or a saw! Sensible suggestions would be much appreciated as the flowers on even the smallest subjects are far too high for me to reach.

Eryngium campestre / Field Holly / Ερύγγιο το πεδινό / Feld-Mannstreu - A fairly insignificant looking plant, which bears small greenish flowers set amongst spiny bracts. It can be found all over the island growing on waste land, abandoned fields and in meadows.

Eryngium maritimum / Sea Holly / Ερύγγιο το παράλιο / Stranddistel - In contrast to the field holly, this Eryngium is very beautiful in all its stages of growth. It bears small bluish flowers and its stems change from grey-green to mauve as the season progresses. A favourite with wasps and hornets, it is another species I love to photograph.

Hypericum - One of the hypericum I found this year that I am not able to identify. It was very low growing and found in the White Mountains on our trip to the Omalos.

Lactuca acanthifolia - Another relative of the lettuce family that can be found from July to October. It is endemic to the Aegean area.

Origanum onites / Pot marjoram / Ορίγανο η ονίτις - This origanum, together with O. vulgare, is collected for use as a flavouring in meat dishes and sauces.

Arum ideaeum / Άρο τις Ίδης / Idagebirge-Aronstab - Once again it is great to feature one of Jan Liodaki’s wonderful flower paintings – this month of Arum ideaum, a little arum that is endemic to Crete.

Centaurea idea / Κενταύρια της Ίδης / Ida-Flockenblume - My painting of Centaurea ideaum turned out to look rather Art Nouveau or Arts and Crafts in style, although it was not my intention when I drew it from life. Its shape, I feel, would have lent itself to a design by William Morris for his wallpaper or fabric.
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