April 22, 2013

Groves of The Florence Suburbs

After a sudden springtime sick-leave, All Plants Bulletin is alive and kicking again.  Let's roll back the wheel of time a few degrees. As we mentioned, we spent some days in Florence, at the very end of March. Our little teaser started off somewhere here:

On one of the last days, we decided to cross the Arno out in the suburbs, where our lodging has been, to reach the historical sites of the southwestern side of the old town from an unusual direction.

We quickly realised, that it's not all concrete and cobblestone, with the occasional parks thrown in. While Budapest was still slumbering under thick blankets of snow, Florence was awash with light rain, blown by quiet winds, with floating grey clouds hovering above with occasional sunlight checking in. The air was smelling of rain and lush pastures over here, which is probably similarly unconventional as March snowstorms in Central Europe. 

Handsome line of houses resembling a historical character, although only decades old.

But it made it all the more obvious, that what difference this plant life could mean in the hellish weeks of the mediterranean deep summertime weeks of July, or August. In the last few years, denziens of Budapest were forced to get accustomed to extreme heatwaves, when layers of African air drifts over the scorched city, and slowly settles in between the multistory buildings, spans wall to wall over avenues. Small parks, groups of trees like this could mean a difference between torment and inconvenience. 

Artificial bathouse, a comfortable resting spot for the summertime predators of mosquitos.

The trees did not disappear until the borders of the innercity. This row can be a much-welcome hideout from the heat, only a few tramstops away from the busiest streets.

The urban tribal marks, called graffiti, are a necessity in every large settlement. The playground is otherwise in perfect condition, and the barks wear no scars, showing peaceful coexistence of human and plant life here.

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