Having just returned from a week in Gran Canaria, where the volcanic rock made for a pretty arid and barren landscape, I was in desperate need of something more verdant.
So yesterday and today, I took myself off on two of my favourite local walks and was rewarded not only by the profusion of flowers already in bloom, but also by the first wild orchids.
Along the Giro di Santa Croce, you couldn't fail to spot the bright pink of the butterfly orchids (anacamptis papilionacea). whilst today, down in Jeranto, I spent a happy half hour searching the undergrowth for bee orchids (ophrys), finding not one but two different varieties. Then, at the very last minute, I stumbled on a colony of tongue orchids (serapias) preparing to flower.
However, it was not just the orchids that made it all worth while. Today the lizards were out in force, sunning themselves on the rocks and scuttling away at top speed when they heard me approaching. Yellow and white butterflies flitted from flower to flower, reluctant to be photographed. And everywhere was green.