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Myosotis solange  - 29th July 2008

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Chania lighthouse at sunset - Click to enlarge

 

Myosotis solange

 

Myosotis solange is one of the most elusive flowers in Crete. Besides being really tiny it grows at just over 2000m on the north face of a mountain called Agio Pnevma. The area in which it has been found to grow is barely larger than my living room. OK, I have a spacious living room (it also serves as my office so it has to be) but it is still incredible that a flower species can exist in such a restricted habitat.

There are a few similarly rare plants in Crete: the ones that immediately come to mind are Clematis elisabethae-carolae, Campanula aizoïdes, Bupleurum kakiskalae, Onobrychis sphaciotica and several others and maybe a few yet to be discovered species.

In the last few years, as the White Mountains became more and more my playground I started paying closer attention to its microcosm. Like in every desert, what appears very bare at first sight is full of life if you pay attention. And the more I looked the more I discovered, the more I saw the better I became at paying attention, noticing.
So now I have the best of both worlds: the huge horizons offered by summit views (you can even see the snowy summits of the Peloponese from the White Mountains on a clear winter day!), the deep barely accessible gorges, the harsh wind-swept desert, the long winter walks in snow and up icy slopes and, added to this, all the wonderful small world hidden in scree, rock crevices, hanging high up on cliffs or protecting itself from the wind at the bottom of dolines.
What it also awakened in me was what I can only describe as the hunt instinct. The rarer the flower the more of a challenge it gets to find it and get a few good photos of it. It’s pretty harmless and to me more satisfying than going out to Pakistan or elsewhere to kill some rare antilope. It’s also a damn sight cheaper and carting all these kilos of camera equipment keeps me fit.

So anyway, this was just written to try to explain what I am doing with my photos of flowers: I am not a botanist, in fact I know very little about botany and understand even less. I am just having a lot of fun and the White Mountains - my backyard - are a great place to have fun.

You can click on the picture to enlarge.

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