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Saturday, 31 March 2018

Skyfall

If you are out and about nature watching this afternoon anywhere within 43 degrees of the equator (which includes most of the inhabited world south of the Himalayas, Pyrenees or Appalachians depending upon the continent from which you are observing) you may see a strange orange glow in the sky. For sometime today the Chinese space station, Tiangong-1, will make its fiery descent back to Earth. If you are in England and see a strange orange glow in the sky then that will probably be the sun, an astronomical object that older readers may dimly recall.

Launched in 2011, Tiangong-1 did sterling service until March 2016 when it ceased to function and ground teams lost control of the thing. This means that they cannot fire the engines to make a controlled re-entry and merely pollute the Pacific Ocean with it but have to allow it to make its own inscrutable way back to the home planet. Fortunately most of it will burn up on its way down which is just as well as it is the size of a bus. The key phrase here of course is "most of it"; there is still a likelihood that chunks of fiery space debris could land in a populated area.

As I write this at 05.50 UTC (07.50 Crete Local Time) it is passing west to east over the Black Sea at an altitude of 167km. An hour or so ago it was off the north coast of New Zealand. A sentence later and it is over Afghanistan - it's coming in quickly but losing altitude slowly. If you want to track its descent in real time you can do so here.

There is an old Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times" - it certainly promises to be an interesting afternoon.



Meanwhile observant followers of the #CreteNature blog will have noticed that this is not the normal day of publication, nor for that matter, the usual subject matter. Truth is that life in the Daniels household is undergoing a little medical turbulence at the moment which means that future posts are likely to be as erratic as Tiangong-1's descent for a while. It also means that I probably won't be able to remind you all when a new post is published. However, if you click the 'Follow' button in the upper right panel (as illustrated here) then you will get a friendly little email notification each time a new post is published. You can also follow me on Facebook via my Naturalists Group or on Twitter@cretenaturalist.

A big thank you to the excellent Deborah Byrd at EarthSky who provided most of the information for this post either directly through her daily blog or via a very useful set of links. Thanks Deb.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Crete Nature Almanack 2018 – Early Spring


Today, March 20th, sees the arrival of the Spring Equinox in the northern hemisphere (or the Autumn Equinox in the southern) where the daylight hours equal the night time hours; twelve of each. Here in Crete the weather is starting to warm up, hitting the 30C mark on some days and nothing could be pleasanter than to bask on the terrace of the Sxedia (The Raft), looking out over Ierapetra with the last vestiges of snow on the Dhikti Mountains in the background. It is also a lovely place for us to sit and chat about the things to look out for in early Spring so pull up a chair and we'll begin.

Flowers


There are so many now that it is difficult to pick out any particular one but how do you know what they all are? Rushing for a field guide is all very well so long as you know to which family they belong (after all there are 93 to choose from here on Crete). To help you out a bit more than 25% of Cretan flowers fall into just four families and here's a quick guide to recognising them. Compositae (or Asteraceae): Represented by daisies, dandelions and thistles, the head of each plant is composed of many small florets often arranged in a central disk with a ray of dissimilar florets surrounding them. Leguminosae (or Fabaceae): Represented by peas, clovers and lupins, their flowers have a distinctive shape (although in the case of clovers you may need a hand lens to discern that each flower head is composed of many tiny flowers) and they all have fruits (legumes) that split into two lengthways like a pea pod. Caryophyllaceae: Represented by pinks and catchflies, these are flowers with 5 petals, very often subdivided and they have tough, coarse stems and leaves. Check out the mallow family (Malvaceae) too as they have very similar characteristics but there are fewer of them. Umbelliferae (Apiaceae): Represented by carrots, fennel and parsley these have very distinctive flower heads like the spokes of an umbrella. For a full illustrated guide to all the families see Steve Lenton's excellent on line guide Cretan Flora.

Insects

Rosemary beetles mating



With all these flowers about it is no surprise that the insects are up and about too and it's a great time to watch what they are doing. Are they young grubs crawling around trying to get as much food inside them as soon as possible? What are they eating? (Often a clue to species identification). Or are they nymphs, often very different to their adult colouration? Worth keeping if you can feed them to watch their development. Maybe they are adults, mating or laying their eggs. Which plant are they laying their eggs upon? There is so much more to entomology than simply attaching a label to a specimen. Insect lives are fascinating.








Birds

Fallen blackbird nest
The Spring migration is now beginning for many birds so look out for species flying north from subSaharan Africa to mainland Europe. We also have many resident birds here on Crete and as the insect levels increase, for many it is the nesting season. Check out what they are collecting by way of nesting materials: twigs, grasses, mosses, lichens, mud, spittle, wool. All are grist to the mill for different bird species. Our ravens for instance will be using an interlaced arrangement of sticks, lined with grass and wool  up on a rock ledge (if they're ready yet - follow the blog to see how they're getting on) whereas the chaffinch builds a very neat round nest of moss, lichens, wool, feathers and hair felted together in a bush or in the fork of a tree. On the other hand the skylark makes a very simple grass nest directly upon the ground. (The nest in the photo had fallen to the ground – obviously you don't go plucking them from the trees and bushes. The birdies might get a bit miffed!)

Quadrupeds

Stone marten
Hares, mice, weasels, martens and badgers continue to be shy and elusive but there's a beter chance of seeing them now as they too become emboldened by the urge to mate. Hedgehogs too will have emerged from hibernation. In the herpetological world listen for the frog and toad chorus after dusk and try to pick out the rising brrrrip of the green Toad and the manic chirruping of the European Tree Frog.










The Extra Bit

The other great thing about spring in Crete is that it is the start of the barbecue season. I celebrated last night with slow cooked bream over rosemary with cheesy beans and baked potato. If you want a rundown on preparation, timings etc. I'm experimenting with a new idea for a cook book which you can see here.
See you next week for more wanderings in the hills and valleys of east Crete and we'll see how much of the above that we can observe. Happy Springtime.

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LINKS:
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Tuesday, 13 March 2018

The Far Side


Chamomile tea anyone? Back down here in the olive groves, below the high peaks, the space between the trees is awash with white, scented chamomile interspersed with wood sorrel; a testament to the lack of herbicides and pesticides used in these parts. This is not the species that is used in the commercial production of chamomile tea but it is closely related and just as efficacious as a pleasant, restful beverage. Just steep 3-4 tablespoons of flower heads in a mug full of boiling water for 5 minutes and decant into a second mug.




One of the reasons that we have so much chamomile around here is due to the flies. These hard working little insects are often overlooked at best or despised at worst as irritating nuisances but they contribute hugely to the pollination of wild and agricultural plants. Just a quick look around and I can see at least four different species buzzing around, sipping nectar and thereby transferring pollen. So when you're sipping your chamomile tea give a quick thank you to the flies who made it possible.






Anyhow, enough lounging about; we're taking a trek around the northern flanks of the 40 Saints today where the winds carve hippo mouths out of the rocks. This is the damp side where rivulets of water darken the rocks like infected teeth and strange looking beetle grubs lurk under stones, feeding themselves up to mature into iridescent adults. This one is a ground beetle I think. You can tell that they're beetle larvae, rather than caterpillars, as they only have the six true legs at the front and none of the stumpy little false legs that caterpillars have.




The next part of our circumnavigation of the hills will take us into that valley way down there and the route looks interesting to say the least. We'll have to watch our step so there won't be much chance for visual observation during our descent but that's no reason that we can't keep our ears open. Listen out for the machine gun rattle of the Sardinian Warbler, the chack-a-chack alarm call of the Blackbird, the descending trill of the Chaffinch and the elongated dzeeee at the end of the Greenfinch song.





Well, we've made it without any sprained ankles or the suchlike and it's nice to be on level ground once more. There are more hills to the north, waiting to be explored but we'll content ourselves with poking around these lentisc bushes for a bit today before continuing on down the valley to our left next time. It's quite shady down here which is perfect territory for our old friend the Speckled Wood butterfly. Here in Southern Europe they are brown with orange markings but the further north you go in Europe their colour changes gradually to a deeper brown with yellow, cream or even white markings. 


The Extra Bit


It is with some sadness that I learn of the death of Stephen Hawking. His body relinquished the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis this morning some fiftyfive years after doctors gave him two years to live. The information in that brilliant mind however can never be lost from the universe, as Hawking himself demonstrated, even in a black hole. So how and where in the universe is that information stored? I have no doubt that Stephen Hawking will eventually try to solve that puzzle but in the meanwhile I hope he has a little time (if it exists in his present state) to rest in peace awhile.
SD 14th March 2018.




Next week the Spring Equinox will be upon us so look out for the next part of the #CreteNature Almanack 2018 in which I'll be illustrating some of the things to look out for in early spring.

Photographic Bit

Many of you have asked me what photographic equipment I use so for details of aperture settings, shutter speeds etc. my pictures will be on Flickr within a few days and that has all the geeky stuff.Pictures were edited with FastStone Image Viewer and combined with Microsoft Paint.

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LINKS:
Share your nature thoughts, photos and comments on Naturalists (the facebook page that accompanies this blog)

Explore the region with the #CreteNature interactive Hiking and Nature Map



Tuesday, 6 March 2018

The Orchid Hills


The rain has been; the sun is shining and orchids are appearing all over the Kritiweb. I have a confession to make: I am not a great fan of orchids (but I'm sure we'll find some later on for those of you who are). Meanwhile, we have some serious climbing to do today to get onto that rocky ridge up there so let's have a look at some of the other flowers that are dotted around the hills. The tall white ones that our friend the Tropinota beetle is pollinating are Asphodels and the exquisite little purple and gold blooms are a subspecies of dwarf Algerian Iris that is endemic to Crete and Karpathos. Not everything is in flower yet but this rock lettuce (another Cretan endemic which will have spectacular 80cm blooms in April) is just ripe for picking a few salad leaves. Finally, these little clusters of golden sunshine are Gageas, one of seven species that we have here on Crete.


We also have the usual array of 'damned yellow composites' as botanists fondly call them and this one is being pollinated by a Mining Bee. When she's finished collecting the pollen she'll go and find a patch of sandy soil and start to excavate a mine. Down in the mine she'll construct a series of cells, lay in a pollen food store, lay a single egg on each heap of pollen and seal them up. There they will hatch, feed and grow and pupate to emerge about this time next year. Mining bees can be found all over the world except South America and Oceania (Australia, NZ, New Guinea area) particularly where the soil is sandy as it is around here.








Now we have a bit of serious rock scrambling to do. Ah, there's the pumping station where we were ferreting about last time. Nice to get a reference point as we've zigged and zagged a bit to get up here. This rock is what is known as a composite rock, that is, it is composed of many different types of rock (most of which appear to be unnecessarily sharp) and my eye is drawn to that green one sitting alone on the edge. Let's take a closer look. How strange, it is entirely coated with a crustose lichen. I wonder why that should be? I think I'll take a scraping to look at under the microscope later1.

Here we are at the summit which looks to be an ideal place to sit and look at the orchid photographs that we've taken on the way up. The first two are Bee Orchids which mimic insects, very often bees, in order to entice them to come and mate and thus get covered in pollen. Sneaky little things but all's fair in love and war. They are also highly promiscuous and hybridize quite readily so it's rather difficult to identify them to species level with any accuracy. Still, it keeps the botanists amused almost indefinitely. We're on safer ground with the purple one which is a Butterfly Orchid. Not because it is pollinated by butterflies specifically (which would be far too logical) but because it resembles a pea flower. It's scientific name is Anacamptis papilionaceae which means 'like a pea flower with a bent back spur' but as papilio is Latin for butterfly it's finished up being named as a flower that looks like another flower which looks like a butterfly (if you squint at it in a certain light). Finally we have quite a few Robert's Giant Orchids around. It's a fairly robust orchid but by no means the biggest of the Cretan orchids and who Robert was seems to have been lost in the mists of time but there you go, that's orchids for you. Give me a Broomrape any day of the week.

We'll make our way back down now and see what else we can find on the way.


Huginn and Muninn are having a laugh at our expense again. Having neither heard nor seen a feather of them this morning they decide on a fly past with a third Raven in tow just as we're negotiating this tricky bit of rockery. Never mind, there's something even more interesting here: a spring -  and some of the water has collected right here, just as it emerges from the rock.

Here's a little puzzle for you to ponder while I set up the field microscope on this ledge. What photosynthesises like a plant, is made of glass and gets smaller as it grows? In the words of Dr Spock in Star Trek - “It's life Jim, but not as we know it.” These are diatoms. Microscopic life forms who's cell walls are made of silica and because of the unique way in which they divide and reproduce the offspring are smaller (and often a different shape) than the original. Curious little critters all round really but they are responsible for fixing more of the Earth's carbon than all of the world's rainforests put together. Even so, the trees and diatoms combined can't cope with the amount of carbon which we are still releasing into the atmosphere.

The Extra Bit

1 I hadn't noticed quite how precariously I was perched when collecting the lichen sample and you may be wondering how I managed to take the photo whilst both my hands were otherwise occupied. Truth to tell, I was accompanied on this hike by my friend and neighbour Nico and two of his teenage girls and it was great having some young, enthusiastic company. It was Nico who took the photograph.

Photographic Bit

Many of you have asked me what photographic equipment I use so for details of aperture settings, shutter speeds etc. my pictures will be on Flickr within a few days and that has all the geeky stuff.Pictures were edited with FastStone Image Viewer and combined with Microsoft Paint.

*********************************************************************
LINKS:
Share your nature thoughts, photos and comments on Naturalists (the facebook page that accompanies this blog)

Explore the region with the #CreteNature interactive Hiking and Nature Map


Tuesday, 27 February 2018

40 Saints III - Fenced In


As the first part of our walk today takes us along the road from where we finished last week I thought we'd make an early start of it to see if there are any hares or badgers making use of the human highways at this time in the morning. No sign of any yet but we do have some wildlife that I suggested that we look out for in the Late Winter Almanack. Firstly the Pine Processionary Caterpillars, Thaumetopoea pityocampa, are up and about (although these are described as nocturnal in many of the texts I've often found them reluctant to go back to bed in the mornings) and secondly, as I was just bending down to photograph this Storksbill, a little movement in the undergrowth revealed a beautiful Silver Y moth, Autographa gamma, which is one of the migratory moths I mentioned. The little silver markings in the middle of his wings give him both his English name (being shaped like the letter Y) and his scientific name (being shaped like the Greek gamma).


Here's the track where we diverge from the road and get up in amongst the Forty Saints once more but there are a couple of wayside flowers to take note of before we head up into the wilderness. The little mauve job that I was about to photograph before being distracted by the Silver Y is the Storksbill and the other is a White Hedge Nettle. I always think of this as being a rather insecure plant. For a start it's name is based upon it's nettle like leaves which are just for show, they contain no sting at all and secondly you always find it growing up through other plants as if it's afraid to go out on its own.

This old ruin seems like a nice place to sit and rest awhile. I can hear chaffinches, a Sardinian warbler and the first greenfinch of the year and we may be able to spot them flitting about from the top of those steps. Meanwhile I seem to be getting infested with tiny beetles. Their wing cases are a little short and they seem to make quite a job of tucking their wings in. That, along with their minute size and their little clubbed antennae identify them as members of the Nitidulidae family which includes the Picnic Beetle. These are so named for their habit of gatecrashing picnics and diving into any alcoholic beverage that happen to be about. Their usual diet includes decaying fruit as it begins to ferment, hence their predilection for alcohol. These chaps however, belong to a different subfamily and are purely pollen eaters as you can see from that one happily feasting on the chamomile down there.

We have three tracks ahead of us and I think that if we take the left hand one we should be able to return by the middle one and save the right hand one for another day. A nice choice as there's another of those cisterns from which we've disturbed rather a nice buzzard. Which reminds me, we haven't seen our ravens, Huginn and Muninn, this morning although I did hear them cronking away in the Milonas Valley as we walked up the road earlier. Probably looking for anything that didn't make it through the night for their breakfast. Meanwhile we have another little cavelet if we just push our way through these carob trees. No signs of recent occupation so if we carefully lower ourselves down into this juniper filled gully we'll climb to the top and see what's up there.

A nice view of the Milonas valley and that defile in the centre hides the Milonas waterfall. There are absolutely loads of these tiny little crocus like flowers up here too but they're not crocuses, they are Romulea (named after Romulus) from a totally different family. A case of covergent evolution; they're more closely related to asparagus than the crocus. We also have a non-native Candelabra Aloe from South Africa up here behind the pumping station looking somewhat incongruous. There's a track leading down from the pumping station and if my calculations are right it should lead us back to the three way junction. Well, it would have done if someone hadn't erected a two metre fence across it. Oh well, we will just have to force our way through the thorny scrub on this side until we come to the end of it. Not all bad news, at least we've found an interesting little puddle. Nothing here at the moment but possibly a good place to set up a camera trap.


I can see the end of the fence – just the other side of this steep walled five metre deep gully. There's a small goat path up the other side but this side is a scramble and slide job. Here goes. Well, that was interesting but I still seem to have the seat of my trousers intact and I was right about the track; there's the little ruin where we met the pollen beetles. Next week we'll see where the third track leads us. 


Photographic Bit

Many of you have asked me what photographic equipment I use so for details of aperture settings, shutter speeds etc. my pictures will be on Flickr within a few days and that has all the geeky stuff.Pictures were edited with FastStone Image Viewer and combined with Microsoft Paint.

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LINKS:
Share your nature thoughts, photos and comments on Naturalists (the facebook page that accompanies this blog)

Explore the region with the #CreteNature interactive Hiking and Nature Map


Tuesday, 20 February 2018

40 Saints II – Land of the Levitating Goat


Rather a scenic little walk this morning as we continue along the track eastwards along the southern slopes of Agioi Saranta musing among the mysteries of nature as the goats pecefully levitate about a foot above the ground. (OK, so I caught him in mid air as he dashed across the track; don't spoil the llusion). Last week we were looking at the rock rose family, the Cistaceae, with that little Fumana we found. There are a couple more examples here; the Pink Rock Rose (Cistus creticus) and the white Sage-leaved Rock Rose (Cistus salviifolius). The essential oils from the leaves are used to combat psoriasis and eczema and are also held to be effective against acne and wrinkles. I wouldn't advise trying it here and now, it will just highlight your wrinkles a nice shade of green. It is a useful plant in the field though as, applied to cuts, it stops the bleeding and disinfects the wound.

I see that the goats are heading for that little cave up there, probably their Zen Temple. Meanwhile, closer to the ground it's nice to see some beetles emerging into the world. Our old friend the 7-spot Ladybird is exploring this Juniper Bush and down in the undergrowth is this hairy litle flower chafer (Tropinota). These start to appear about now, peak through the spring months and then tail off in June and July after which you rarely see them until the following year. You'll mainly find them around the Mediterranean but one adventurous little soul has been spotted and verified in The Ukraine.

Signs of humans on the landscape: a large, circular, raised compound; filled with earth and fenced in – possibly to stop that large rock from escaping. To be honest, I have no idea what it's for but I highly suspect that it has something to do with goats. From our point of view the area is littered with construction debris such as this plank of wood. I wonder if anyone is underneath? A pair of Smooth Land Slugs of the Deroceras genus cosying up together. Slugs are not everyone's favourite animal but some people, such as Dr Heike Reise in Germany, examines these creatures in intimate detail. Very intimate in the case of Deroceras. Apparently they have a huge range of different shaped penises, “some of them truly bizarre” to quote from her paper in the American Malacological Bulletin1. Who knew?

More signs of humans on the landscape. These cisterns are dotted around the hills of Crete, collecting water from the mountains and delivering it to the greenhouses below. A good place to sit and watch for a bit as I've spotted a pair of Crag Martins swooping in low for a drink. As usual when you set up a camera the birds buzz off to pastures new. Never mind, there's a nice little Hoverfly here so if I just change camera settings... the Crag Martins come back. Reset the camera, focus in... and they're off again. They're just having a laugh, aren't they?

We're nearly at the end of today's little jaunt and up to our left is that promontory of rock which I think we'll name Ravenscrag for reference. Last week we were watching a pair of ravens which we named Huginn and Muninn (from Norse Mythology) and decided to keep an eye on them to see if they are a breeding pair. I've been watching them for the past half hour and they certainly seem to have made Ravenscrag their home. There's one of them now look; just coming in to land. Maybe we'll get a better view next week when our journey takes us around the back. 

The Extra Bit



Photographic Bit

Many of you have asked me what photographic equipment I use so for details of aperture settings, shutter speeds etc. my pictures will be on Flickr within a few days and that has all the geeky stuff.Pictures were edited with FastStone Image Viewer and combined with Microsoft Paint.

*********************************************************************
LINKS:
Share your nature thoughts, photos and comments on Naturalists (the facebook page that accompanies this blog)

Explore the region with the #CreteNature interactive Hiking and Nature Map


Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Series 7 The Forty Saints


Here we are, having turned sharp left at the Asteria Taverna in Koutsounari and that massive block of limestone before us is the area which we shall be exploring together for the remaining winter weeks and on into spring. It is designated Agioi Saranta, or the Forty Saints. These were a group of Roman Christian soldiers who were martyred for their beliefs, at Sebaste in Turkey, in 360AD. The method of their martyrdom sends shivers down your spine. They were stripped naked and left on a frozen pond all night in sub zero temperatures. Why they should be commemorated here is something which we may or may not find out along the way but first we have to get up there. So we'll leave the old jalopy at the end of the road and walk up that track to our left and see what adventures await.




A fairly steep climb to begin with to get the muscles working and a fairly typical phrygana landscape with low, mat growing plants including this little Rock Rose that is just coming into flower; Fumana. Like all rock roses (family Cistaceae) they have a couple of tricks that help them cope with this harsh environment. Firstly, they do not work alone. Beneath the soil they work in tandem with fungi of the Tuber genus (the genus which includes truffles) to absorb the scarce nutrients. Secondly, they have a very hard coating to their seeds, some of which remain dormant in the soil for long periods. Should there be a wildfire, to which this type of habitat is prone, the seeds split open and germinate giving them an advantage over other plants. Onwards and upwards. This is beginning to look like an expedition to “The Land That Time Forgot”.

Another plant here where we turn right and head eastwards. This is one of the Asphodels which will soon be coming into flower and if you look closely at these leaves you can see that it is swarming with tiny bug nymphs. Many of these look very similar so trying to identify them can be a problem. Having said that, I think that these may be Dionconotus neglectus and the reason I think that is because we've come across them before. Cast your mind back to March 2015 when we found The Chamomile Lawn. We found a host of these in their adult livery on some Yellow Asphodels. Although the literature says that they are polyphagous (eating many plant types), on a regional basis it makes sense for them to stick to the type of plant with which they are most familiar if it is in plentiful supply.

Now this is what I've been aiming us towards today, a little cave perched half way up the rock face. It doesn't look like too difficult a climb. Give me your hand and we'll attempt an ascent. Reasonably accessible in a trouser ripping sort of way; now who's lurking within? A bit of a midden where some small animal has been having a feed (we must get round to investigating some of these middens as they provide a wealth of information) but for the moment we have a fine example of the architecture of a Funnel Web Spider. Don't be alarmed, the Funnel webs (family Agelenidae) are a pretty harmless bunch and not related to the infamous Sydney Funnel-web which is a type of funnel-web tarantula from a different family. 

Take a closer look at the web. Hang on, I'll give you a leg up. It's like a perfectly woven hammock, anchored at the top by a couple of lines and positioned to catch anything tumbling from above. It isn't adhesive but insects have a number of sticky out bits that get entangled in the mesh. The spider resides in that silk tunnel at the back to which one corner of the hammock is attached allowing the spider quick and easy access. Drop a little stone into the hammock and see if anyone comes to investigate. What a shame; it appears to be unoccupied. Ah well, lets go back to the entrance and sit and admire the view for a while before we continue.

There are some great views even at this low level. I should imagine that they'll be quite spectacular when we get up top but for today I think we'll just concentrate on the mid level because, if my eyes don't deceive me, that is a butterfly that we haven't seen before. You may be familiar with the Comma (Polygonia c-album) which is widespread over Europe but this is it's cousin, the Southern Comma (Polygonia egea). According to IUCN it's major caterpillar food plant is Common Pellitory (which isn't common round here) with a note that it also probably feeds on Nettles (also not particularly abundant in these parts) as well as Willows and Elms which are non existent here. So keep your eyes peeled for little grey caterpillars that appear to be sprouting yellow Christmas trees and see what they're feeding upon. You never know, we may discover a new host plant.

Have you noticed that deep cronking sound that's been accompanying us for most of the morning? The owners of those sonorous, if somewhat unmelodic, calls are flying above us. They're a pair of ravens and they seem to be orbiting the very summit. I wonder if they are a breeding pair? As we're going to be up here for the next few weeks we'll keep a close eye on them and see if they'll allow us a little glimpse into their lives. As we hope to become more intimately acquainted I suppose we had better give them names. How about Huginn and Muninn (Thought and Memory) after Odin's corvid companions in Norse mythology?


Next week we'll continue circling the summit and see who else lives among the forty saints and hopefully Huginn and Muginn will continue to keep us company.

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LINKS:
Share your nature thoughts, photos and comments on Naturalists (the facebook page that accompanies this blog)

Explore the region with the #CreteNature interactive Hiking and Nature Map