Me Nature Other

Hania, still.

Well, I’ve been to the Hania Archeological Museum, the Cretan Folklore Museum and the Byzantine Museum this morning, so I’m all cultured up good. The Archeology is not doubt a pale shadow of what iwould have seen if the Heraklion museum had been open, but they had some nice stuff. The Folklore Museum was probably the most fun; certainly the most colourful, since Cretan textiles are very flamboyant.  They taken a little house and absolutely packed it with tools, costume, knick-knacks; every conceivable aspect of everyday life from the nuptial bed to the threshing yard. Some of these, like the threshing yard, and illustrated with little models which have exactly the folk-art quality to go with everything else.

This afternoon I think I’ll do some flower ID-ing as preparation for the bio blitz, and take a few pictures.

I had some delicious kolokithokeftedes yesterday; the menu described them as ‘zucchini croquettes’ which didn’t sound that exciting, but they were made of grated courgette, cheese, dill and mint, maybe some onion, and they were delicious. Then I had some kind of slow-cooked baby goat which was also nice but didn’t excite me as much as the keftedes.

I was slightly disappointed in  Heraklion to see that all the trendier-looking cafes advertised themselves as espresso places. I mean America and the UK needed the Starbucks revolution because our coffee was crap, but Greek coffee is delicious. I hope it’s not just becoming an old man’s drink.

Thanks to the very helpful municipal tourist office I have a couple of days birding planned – to the Aghi Triada monastery on Aktrotiri and Agia Lake. So that’s good; I was starting to worry about how much actual birding I would be able to do.



Well, here I am in Hania, and it has to said that it is extremely pretty. Turquoise waters, picturesque buildings, bright sun on stone walls; they’ve got the whole Mediterranean thing working well for them. I’m slightly antsy about getting some actual birding done, not least because my cunning plan to go to Omalos has been messed up by the fact the buses don’t start running there until May.

But I’m sure I’ll work something out. And I did see Griffon Vulture from the bus.

Me Nature


blogger bioblitz

It turns out the Heraklion Archaeological Museum is closed for renovations until July. Which is disappointing, because it holds a world-class collection of Minoan artefacts and I was looking forward to going there.

Oh well. Instead I got on a bus to Knossos, one of the sites where a lot of the stuff in the museum came from. Knossos isn’t the most evocative archeological site I’ve ever visited: too much reconstruction, too much concrete and too much scaffolding. But it was quite interesting to see it, and it was a nice sunny day, on and off, and there were hooded crows and collared doves and goldfinches and things around the place. Wood Warbler and Willow Warbler passing through on their migration north. Best bird was Italian Sparrow, which my field guide treats as a ‘stable hybrid’ of Spanish Sparrow and House Sparrow, but Avibase has as a full species. So it was either a half tick or a full tick for my life list.

After looking round the site I had a plate of chicken and chips and went for a birdy wander. Not that much around, but I saw Hoopoe, which is always a pleasure. There are lots of flowers everywhere. When I do the Blogger Bio Blitz, wherever that ends up being, there should be plenty to keep me occupied even if I don’t have a good bird day. That barn owl bio blitz button, btw, is derived from a photo on Flickr by Nick Lawes used under a by-nc-sa licence; the button is therefore available under the same licence. Not that there’s anything wrong with the Jennifer’s BBB buttons, but I wanted something to match my colour scheme.



I’m off to Crete tomorrow, and with all the packing and procrastinating I didn’t write a poem. And I have to get up in about 4 hours time [yipes] so no poem today. I’ll try to write two tomorrow— I have a longish flight to fill time on.

Posting may be sporadic in the next couple of weeks while I’m on holiday, although I expect I’ll pop into an internet cafe most days. I’m travelling on my own, so I’ll have the spare time. And I will try to keep up napowrimo, though obviously I may not be able to post all of them while they’re fresh.


Culture Me

A cunning plan

I just realised that my camera can screw directly on to my telescope tripod. Expect me to come back from Crete with lots of attempted panoramas.

Can you tell I’m procrastinating because I don’t want to pack?