Oaks and Pomegranates

Temperatures on Symi continue to rise with the thermometer over 40 degrees centigrade at midday and around 30 at midnight.  Those who venture into our office for whatever reason show a marked reluctance to tear themselves away from the air conditioning and visitors have been noticed lingering at the chiller cabinets at the supermarket.   This is a very difficult time of the year for anyone who is working on Symi, particularly doing manual work, as heatstroke is a very real possibility but there is no alternative if one lives and works in a hot climate.  Symi does not start to cool down until late September and the community cannot just shut down until temperatures slip back to the mid-twenties that are universally regarded as ‘comfortable room temperature’.

One of the reasons why Symi is so much hotter than Rhodes is that it is sheltered from the meltemi by the Datca peninsular so there is little breeze to carry the heat away.  The other is that Symi is very arid with large areas of exposed rock that soak up the heat during the day and release it slowly at night.  The rock only starts to cool down when the nights become significantly longer than the days.  Since the island’s feral goat population was culled a few years ago more trees are surviving, nourished by the winter rains, and areas like the Pedi Valley are much shadier than they used to be.  The few really substantial oak trees on the island are centuries old, growing slowly during the brief periods in spring and autumn when rain and mild temperatures combine.

In the gardens the drought susceptible flowers such as petunias and pelargoniums are showing strain and the orange trees are dropping their fruit.  The ripening pomegranates and fragrant jasmines are the focus of attention now, as are the brilliant bougainvilleas.

Have a good week.

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About this Blog

I sailed into Panormitis Bay, Symi, by chance one windy July day in 1993 and have been here ever since. The locals tell me that this is one of the miracles of St Michael of Panormitis. A BA graduate with majors in English, Philosophy and Classical Civilisation, the idea of living in what is to all intents and purposes an archaeological site appeals to me. Not as small as Kastellorizo, not as touristy as Rhodes, Symi is just the right size. I live on a small holding which my husband and I have reclaimed from a ruin of over-grazing and neglect and turned into a small oasis over the course of the past 22 years. I also work part-time for Symi Visitor Accommodation, helping independent travellers discover and enjoy Symi's simple pleasures for themselves.

This page is kindly sponsored by Wendy Wilcox, Symi Visitor Accommodation.

Adriana Shum

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