When we moved in December to the house above – our delightful but much smaller new house on the Genius Loci property – we were, of course, very familiar with the views, the beauty of the changing seasons’ views…but to see them from our new home, from its every window, was a new experience. Each day begins with the inspiration and soul soothing that this timeless landscape offers: we moved just in time to catch the gorgeous views of late fall beauty of the yellow and red vineyards.
just before they soon gave way to their winter bareness – a different landscape but with its very own beauty!
The Seasons, a reminder of the seasons of our own existence – so many, actually endless, parallels. As a city girl it never ceases to amaze me how very drawn I am to Nature’s cycles, how much peace and well-being I glean from a season as it flows seamlessly into the next.
Umbrian winter temperatures, mild by many standards, signal the ideal moment for the all-important olive tree pruning which keeps the trees in good health and assures a quality over quantity crop. Luckily, our property is high enough to usually be well above winter valley fogs…allowing the pleasure of sun-drenched days for this big job (an average of 10 days for two or three expert pruners). Pruning is as much about “opening” branches to assure the maximum circulation of sun and air, about eliminating lateral small branches which deplete the energy of the main olive-producing branches…as it is about “shaping”, rendering these extremely revered trees both aesthetically appealing and gracefully “hugging” the soil rather than reaching toward the sky. An entrenched tradition and ancient know-how of combining the pragmatic to the beautiful!
While larger branches are cut and piled skillfully to dry/age as next years’ excellent and slow burning firewood, the smaller clippings are mulched as organic nutriment for the trees themselves.
Spring will come early in Umbria…sneaking up on us with its explosion of fervor and renewal! Stay tuned for photos of the first signs of this burst of beauty as seen from the house above at Genius Loci before its quick transformation into summer!