Friday, August 16, 2013

Summer Sights

A Perfect Summer's Day

a delightful new angle on Panzano from the vineyards above Querceto, accessed on unsealed road from the 222 towards Castellina

Often around mid-August the weather begins to change. There may be big, cathartic storms or simply a gradual change in temperature. This year it is the latter: the great heat appears to be subsiding; we are now enjoying hot but not unbearable days,clear skies and blissfully cool nights.  

this year we have been regaled with a second Birth of Venus

The Italian national holiday of Ferragosto (August 15th), which hails back to Emperor Augustus who proclaimed a holiday in his own name, has been and gone. The ferie, or vacations (explicitly from work), have passed their peak. We took advantage of the peace and quiet of the holiday to explore directly around Le Ripe. Here are some photos from the day.

A persistent tapping alerted us to these horse-riders who had come from San Donato along the Pesa and up our newly-cleared track: they had to stop to fix a loose horse-shoe, hence the tapping. We would not have noticed them otherwise.

Querceto: this large and attractive complex of agriturismo apartments and vineyards lies in the hills above us to the southwest
woodland road and ford below Ricavo

Strangely, the piece of land to the left of this track, or at least three hectares of it, belongs to us: it was sold together with Le Ripe but lies about three kilometres to the west below an ancient settlement called Ricavo and not far from another beautiful property called Il Navicone, visible from the 222 towards Castellina in Chianti. This land is rich in hornbeam, some good oaks and other deciduous trees. It needs to be looked after however. To conserve it well it should be partially cleared, the tall struggling trees lopped, the larger ones left intact with all the requisite permits and licences. The wood can be sold for firewood and the forest itself will be renewed.

one of the fine oaks in the mixed deciduous forest near Ricavo and Il Navicone

A literally babbling brook, below the forest road: the amount of water is exceptional at this time of year. It runs into the Pesa.

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