by Betsy Herbert, Earth Matters
It’s May 4 — the height of spring in Crete, the largest Greek island. Crete is laid out like a ribbon across the southern Mediterranean Sea. Because of good rains last winter, wildflowers are in full bloom across lush green plateaus that stretch beneath the snow-capped peaks of Crete’s three picturesque mountain ranges.
Much of Crete’s landscape is underlain with karst limestone. Some 1,700 species of wildflowers — one tenth of which are found nowhere else on earth — thrive here on these limestone soils
Over the eons, water has carved out Crete’s limestone mountains to form spectacular deep gorges and caves. That morning, my friend Georgia and I set out to explore one of these gorges. We drove her Citroen rental car from the coastal city of Rethymno up into the Psiloritis mountains to find St. Anthony’s Gorge.
Along the twisting mountain road, as we gawked at the spectacular wildflower bloom, we spotted clusters of beehive boxes in the traffic turnouts. The bees must be having a field day.Read More