May 09, 2017

The Hills Are Alive . . .

. . . with asphodels.

Had to look that one up. Asphodelus ramosus (subsp. Rhamnosus) to be exact, according to this source. It seems its roots (or tubers) are quite edible, but since they can also be used for making strong glue used by bookmakers and shoe makers, I have my doubts about its taste.

Asphodels all over the place. Everywhere.
I walk these mountains pretty often, and in spring as well, but cannot remember seeing that many of them. Not sure if that’s a good thing; it might be a little bit like rabbits in Australia.  
Asphodels feature in the Greek underworld. According to Homer (whom I did not read but thank god for the internet), there was a part of the Greek underworld that was covered with asphodels, the so-called Asphodel Meadows, where the souls of normal people would reside.  

So here I am walking, 7:30 AM, through the Asphodel Meadows. Gone are the days when I would be able to sleep without qualms until noon. I am up at the crack of dawn.   

The campers were also out and about at the crack of dawn, probably because they’re not sleeping too well on their thin mats. They come in earlier each and every year. Camping has really taken off since Decathlon has been selling their 2-second pop-up tents here. And although I am an avid camper myself, and totally support this outdoor movement, the fact that you are supposed to keep the place clean and pick up your garbage when you leave, is still an alien notion among most Lebanese campers. And what is with the toilet paper anyway? You really need that much? The places where I hike with my dogs early mornings are – since 2 years – quite popular with campers, and starting June ( although now it has become May) until end of August, they are basically unnavigable due to the shit and the massive piles of Kleenex strewn all over the place. That’s if you’re lucky. Most campers leave their garbage behind as well. This eludes me. You come to the place because it is so nice and pristine, but then you unmake it as you go.

Anyway, for the moment it is still early in the season. Right now, it’s just Asphodels. Hills full of them.

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