The winter has been arduous. Eventful and inspiring, but a challenge. The month of December welcomed in the olive harvest, but our trees bore little fruit. Concentrating on finishing our house, I have neglected the trees. Hopefully they will forgive. A trip to visit our son and daughter-in-law in Singapore was a unique experience, with side trips to Bangkok and Bali. The extraordinary experience of a tropical December alerted my senses to the passages in nature. Color in the tropics presents itself in bold bursts.
It is seductive and mesmerizing. The heat, the humidity, the light all dazzle you with intensity.
Returning to the Priorat mid January, we were greeted with a blast of cold. The countryside lay dormant, waiting, patiently waiting. And then the almonds burst forth in February, their delicate tissue like flowers a spray of radiant lightness. Pinks in every tone, pale near white to the deep pink of the marcona. And I could feel the yearning to capture color. The almond blossom, however, seduces with it's burst of color and scent, but I have yet to harness it.
Yet the Priorat NEVER lets you down. The winter may seem like it won't end, and then, one day, on my way to the chicken coop, I saw my first poppy. And those of you who have followed Colores del Priorat know that the poppy is what started this whole adventure. So, where there is a poppy, there is more.
The wild grape hyacinth, muscari neglectum, pokes it head out boldly in the field, a dwarf reflection of the grapes to come. When I first glimpsed this delicate bloom, I disregarded it. The magnificent deep violet color seemed out of my reach. I have tried to solicit color from equally saturated flowers, only to be disappointed. But the hyacinth proved me wrong. Picking just the flowers, I immersed them in water, which I brought to a boil. Not a good idea. Too much heat. I immediately ran back outside to gather more, and augmented the bath with fresh buds. The resulting blue, what you might define as a robins egg blue, is utter magic.
And then there is the wild asparagus. What a delicious treat to wander among the terraces, after a night of rain, and find these lovely green shoots. After taking the tender tops for a tortilla made with farm fresh eggs, I boiled the remaining stems to reveal a tart, vibrant green. Spring has sprung. Colores del Priorat has awakened from hibernation, stay tuned for the colors of Spring 2013. I love the Priorat!