The lane that passes through the edge of our land leads up to the hills behind, providing access to the olive groves that cover the hillsides.
Dotted amongst these are old farmhouses, now abandoned. The owners prefer to live in the towns and villages and rarely need to tend their olives, the cultivation of which is now a part time occupation.
During the wet winter it was an ordeal trudging up the muddy lane with our dogs but today, in the pleasant spring sunshine, we were able to enjoy a long circular walk through the hills above us, following our lane to the farms and tracking back through the olive groves to the Rio Milanos below.
The light today was soft and beautiful, enhancing the lovely pastel colours of the distant mountains. The olive groves are carpeted with little marigolds, bright yellow and orange, interspersed with the brilliant blue of the grape hyacinths which grow here in abundance. In the stony, uncultivated places, fan-lipped orchids and gorgeous yellow orchids flourish. We saw swallowtail butterflies and heard hoopoes calling to each other across the olive groves.