Flora, Fauna and Legends
Green Island and then? The adjective is dense with life and complexity. Some time ago, the botanist and naturalist Giuseppe Sollino wrote that “the romantic silhouette of Mount Epomeo and its slopes has inspired poets and artists: some have compared it to a female figure, others to a mythical being emerging from the depths of the sea.”
From a distance, it appears as a wild and inaccessible rock, but the details are revealed as the atmosphere around the island clears. The island then appears as an explosion of green that contrasts with the blue of the sea and the red of the sky on a radiant morning. However, the geological history of Ischia and its tumultuous physiognomy recall violent events that have given rise to a very varied profile: in a few kilometers, one goes from sea level to nearly 800 meters of Epomeo.
Perhaps Typhoeus, the giant who according to legend is found under the island thrown down from Olympus, is now tired of struggling and is sleeping a very long sleep, cradled by the sweet energy that emanates from the volcanic rocks and the warmth of the thermal waters. Is he dreaming of the marriage between the Sea and the Sky, characterized by the love colored by the tints of spring, those of the flowers that punctuate the Mediterranean greenery?
A protean scenario of life, scents, colors, essences, and volatile presences. The broom, myrtle, heather, mastic, and laurel, oaks, ash trees, and hawthorns are ready to receive the visit of “guests” arriving from above: the gray heron, storks, raptors; then swallows, quails, robins, migratory birds returning to Europe after spending the winter in the warm climate of Africa.
The undergrowth is dotted with orchids, violets, and anemones, “perfect in their solar forms… Lavender, rosemary, catmint, oregano, and sage perfume the countryside with unmistakable aromas, qualifying the ecological value so exclusive to Ischia.” Scents among which the rabbit, digging shelters, sneaks in.
The volcanic rocks, in a context of centuries-old pines, among mosses and lichens, hide elegant ferns, some very rare or unique, such as the Woodwardia radicans, the Pteris longifolia. There is, in short, a quality of essences of the highest interest, such as the typical papyrus of the fumaroles, the Cyperus that takes root in a habitat studied by scientists from all over the world.
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