Ancient woodlands are more vital than ever

If “a culture is no better than its woods”, then WH Auden would be rightly disappointed by large parts of the world if he were still with us.  There’d be Romania, one amongst many countries miserably failing to preserve its woodlands, where a violent logging mafia clear-cuts vast and spectacular beech forests irrespective of EU … Continue reading Ancient woodlands are more vital than ever

Prespa: A Journey from Home pt. 4

The presence of limestone and granite in Prespa's single, mountainous watershed means that plants that prefer one or the other as their dwelling ground can both find a home here, from delicate mountain violas to towering lizard orchids. On the Greek side of the lakes basin alone, over 1,800 species of plants have been recorded. … Continue reading Prespa: A Journey from Home pt. 4

Prespa: A Journey from Home pt. 3

Mountains set Prespa apart, enclosing its vast waters behind a gallery of stone. They’ve shaped the cultures of the shared lakes, from the spiritual seclusion of hermits in Ottoman times to pastoralism in the recent past. On the highest mountains – Kitsevo, Belavoda, Mali i Thate, and Pelister at 2,600 metres, snow holds fast until … Continue reading Prespa: A Journey from Home pt. 3

Prespa : A Journey from Home pt. 2

The Prespa lakes – Greater and Lesser – are amongst the oldest in Europe. Ancient lakes, enduring lakes, they are believed to be more than three million years old. At times, the larger resembles the sea, when veils of mist and cloud vanish the far shores. Or when sharp light stirs its surface - all … Continue reading Prespa : A Journey from Home pt. 2

Prespa: A Journey from Home

“It is through the power of observation, the gifts of eye and ear, of tongue and nose and finger, that a place first rises up in our mind; afterward it is memory that carries the place, that allows it to grow in depth and complexity. For as long as our records go back, we have … Continue reading Prespa: A Journey from Home