Between 35,000 and 37,000 years ago a massive volcanic eruption shook the Mediterranean, carving a deep chasm in the limestone plateau adjacent to the center of old town Sorrento in southern Italy. Over time, water running through the basin forced its way through volcanic debris and carved out new channels to the sea. Settlements sprang-up and the Valley of the Mills was born. The mills were constructed where two streams met. The ruins include a flour mill, which remained in use until the early 20th century. An adjacent sawmill supplied high quality wood to Sorrento’s cabinet makers. The mills were gradually abandoned over the years. The humid environment created a micro-climate in which “Phillitus Vulgaris.” a rare fern, consumed the ruins in a layer of rich green flora. From our room in the Hotel Antiche Mura, we peered straight into the gorge and the spooky scene.
This is how you do mealtime in Sicily. This was lunch at Al Fogher in Piazza Armerina, where the chef allowed us in his kitchen on a foodie tour before seating us to bring out dishes we had never experienced, including black pasta, which was black alright, darkened with squid ink. Yikes!
My Athens trip last September is a deep well so far as my 52-Week Challenge of images goes. So I return to that well to meet the challenge of Dawn’s Light. Climbing to the top of the Acropolis to reach its 2,500-year-old temples is best done early in the morning, before the unrelenting sun takes its hold on this (mostly) treeless rocky citadel. I did find a tree up there to frame the city of Athens below, and played with a filter to enhance the morning light.
There’s something about an Old Florida setting of a shady lazy stream and Spanish moss that give off a moody vibe in the quiet of a warm day. You can get that feeling on the Braden River down by Linger Lodge in Manatee County, about half a mile from my house as the crow flies. It’s a great place to get kick back with a cold beer or glass of wine from the comfort of the screened porch above the river. I gave the image a Polaroid Transfer filter to bring out the moodiness.
This iris in Bok Tower Gardens evoked memories of my mother’s irises in our North Dakota backyard. Summers are very short there, but the irises always came through, as did the peonies, which were abundant in our yard. Beyond that, the lilac bushes were a favorite too, blooming in mid-May after a long, hard winter, filling the air with the sweetest of scents. Floral scents seem to be missing in Florida, with all its beautiful flora. Except for the jasmine and orange blossoms, of course. Lilacs and peonies are a mere memory for me now, as both require a long period of winter chill in order to bloom well.