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NOVEMBER 2008 | NOVEMBER 2007

The weather this November has been much more seasonable than this time last year. Night time temperatures have been quite chilly with snow on Mount Dikte since the middle of the month. Days have been dark and heavy rain has been accompanied by terrific thunder storms and high winds. A few warm sunny days have allowed me to go out photographing and to take a group of Flowers of Crete supporters out on a field trip.

A week-end trip to Hania provided a feast of cyclamen, but sadly one of my favourite sites has been ploughed up, leaving no trace of Crocus cartwrightianus which was previously abundant.

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Asparagus aphyllus - this spiny shrub is prized for the tender shoot tips which can be eaten steamed or boiled. The small green flowers are followed by these green berries.

Biarum davisii ssp. davisii - this cute little endemic biarum is listed as rare on Crete. It is tiny – around 5cms tall and could be easily overlooked.  These specimens were found in a colony of around 100 plants and were being pollinated by large black soldier ants.

Cyclamen graecum ssp. graecum - found in the west and middle sections of Crete, it can be found in stunning masses around Hania.  It is prized for its leaves which come in a myriad of different patterns of silver and green.

Euphorbia dimorphocaulon
Euphorbia dimorphocaulon - I found this tiny, tiny spurge when I was photographing the Biarum above Plaka.  The smallest of the euphorbia on Crete, it is delicate and quite perfect.

Scilla autumnalis - formerly Prospero autumnalis, this Autumn Squill is found in a variety of sizes and shapes and is quite fascinating in its variety.  Small and easily overlooked individually, in groups it gives a beautiful haze of mauve to the hillsides and roadsides on which it grows.

Spiranthes spiralis - it was with great excitement that I discovered that this tiny autumn flowering orchid could be found within a short drive of Pano Elounda.  Having looked in vain around Spilli for several years, I was amazed when Chris Woolfenden sent me her photo of Autumn Ladies’ Tresses which was growing in large numbers close to home.  Difficult to photograph on rainy November days, these images do not do justice to the beauty of this rare orchid.

Sternbergia lutea - found only in the middle and west of the island, Sternbergia lutea is the largest of the Sternbergia growing on Crete.  It resembles a crocus in shape and is often to be found in cultivation.

Colchicum cupanii - the Colchicum found in Crete only in the area of the north coast between Heraklion and Aghios Nikolaos, it is distinguished by its darker anthers from the more common Colchicum pusillum.

Butterfly - one of the last butterflies of the year, flitting from flower to flower in the late autumn sunshine.

 
   
 
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