A Bear Unearthed

In April 2012, a brown bear was found illegally killed by poisoned bait just outside the village of Psaradhes here in Prespa. As the animal was far too heavy to move, and the mountain soil too rocky to dig a grave, the bear was instead covered with a plastic tarp and mounded over with stones. … Continue reading A Bear Unearthed

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

A Murmuration of Starlings

Although the young man playing crazy golf wore shorts, the day was sharp and shivery on the pier. Glassy March light slid off the waves and broke into bright, glittering shards. Further out to sea, panels of dark grey rain had been hoisted against the horizon, blotting it from view. The arms of the Ferris … Continue reading A Murmuration of Starlings