Magnificent Moody Mountains

The great advantage of coming to Cyprus so early in the year is that you get to see the ever- present  Troodos  massif in many moods. As Cyprus has had  a lot of rain this year there have been many brooding clouds and some glimpses of snow capped peaks in the colder month of February. The rain has also created a lush landscape with wide swathes of wild mustard adding a jaunty yellow to the scene. The green is so rich it seems like, should you dive into it, it would support you like a fluffy cushion. The lovely silvery greens of the olive leaves, the delicate white blossom of the almond  and the deep bottle green of the cypress trees make up a pastoral scene of rare beauty. I never tire of looking at it, with every bend in the road there is a different scene. Many of the slopes have been terraced to grow vines or olive trees, each area has a different landscape. Some overlooking the sea and some looking inland towards the peaks. Here is a selection of my favourite pictures of the many I have taken trying to capture the beauty. They by no means do the scene justice but serve as a reminder of what I have been lucky enough to view.

On the Wild Side

There are some beautiful wild flowers to be found growing in Cyprus, particularly up in the mountains of Troodos and on the Akamas peninsula. The best time to find them is after the rains in November or March and early April before the temperature starts to rise. There are a wide variety of wild orchids, cyclamen, ranunculus and wild poppies of course. It is quite a miracle to see, what looks like a scrubby landscape most of the year, turn into a carpet of gorgeous colour.

Most of these disappear after a short time. But there are some which dry on their stalks and provide us with a different kind of attractive wild flower.

These beautifully elegant spikes of flowers look very like an Asphodel, but is it? These can be found all over the island.

I love the sculptural beauty of these lovely specimens, they look like a spiky sunflower. But I have no idea what their name is.

Cultivated land will go from scrubby to green to golden to scrubby golden in the course of a year. But the most dramatic contrast appears on the hills after the intense heat of summer when the first cooling rains fall. It is amazing how quickly a flower will shoot up and burst into bloom with just a small amount of water. What was once a scrubby hillside becomes a wash of golden-yellow or a flush of red with a haze of poppies. Springtime will also see the wonder of the blossoming almond trees with their delicate white blossom looking just like a snowstorm on the hillside.

Springtime is certainly when you will see some spectacular scenery on this island. The weather may be a bit unsettled but the scenery will be very rewarding.