With the lower level of light in December and January, I’ve been noticing more textures and patterns as we’re out and about on the local trails. The slanting sun is great at picking out the underlying structures and surfaces in a cool, muted colour palette. In this vineyard, for example, last year’s growth shows as a repeating pattern of long elegant curves.
But this month careful vineyard owners are busily pruning away those long arching shoots, to get the vines ready for the new season. And gradually, we start to see more of the underlying plants, standing upright with arms spread open ready to sprout again. It won’t be long before we start to see green buds!
The wild plants by the roadside are also showing the remnants of last season’s growth. Some, like this sea-holly (or is it a thistle?) have completely lost their identifying colour and flower characteristics, but boy, that jaggy defense is still effective!
Other plants have already started to come back, but keeping low to the ground for the moment, until the worst of the winter storms have passed. This flat rosette looks to be a thistle of some sort, but without the flower or the stalk, I can’t quite tell. Pretty patterns though!
The road through the Stari Grad plain is unpaved for most of its length, consisting simply of closely packed stones. This type of macadam surface can be pretty bouncy in a car, especially when, over the winter it developed some serious pot-holes. Looked at a different way on a walk, there’s something rather attractive about a muddy puddle!
For those bushes and trees that have temporarily lost their covering of leaves, the branches stand out starkly, especially when, as in this case, they have a coating of bright yellow crusty lichen. It shows up well in the sunshine, but the intense colour is a sign of moisture – it’s been raining recently!
Here’s another lichen, this time growing on an olive tree. Such interesting texture, reminds me so much of pink and green cabbages – though this is rather smaller! I’m fascinated by the wide variety of mosses and lichens to be found on the island, they really are beautiful when you look closely.
And on the same forest trail, we have the chunky bark on an old aleppo pine stump.
Deeper into the forest, it was noticeable that many of the rocks there had turned black with age, rather than fading to grey. Does that mean it’s a different kind of rock, or just they don’t get so much sunlight? Not sure, but there are some nice textures here too. What about this natural abstract composition featuring a red rock?
And down on the beach, an entirely different set of rocky textures – shiny white quartz crystals intruding into limestone.
Away from the natural environment, here’s a stone relief seen in Hvar town. This is on the small church of Sv Marko (I think) which is now a sushi bar, or at least it will be when it re-opens after the winter break. Menu looks good, we will definitely be back!
And I couldn’t miss the chance to show some lovely roof tiles, which show up wonderfully well in the low winter sun. As well as the light/dark pattern, I love the subtlety of the colours here, with newer tiles showing a brighter orange than the delicate pastels of the rest of the roof.
And while we’re on the south side of the island, the sunset over the shore brings out some beautiful textures in lovely soft colours.
And finally, as the light fades, the texture in the sky – beautiful clouds at sunset.