Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Crete, Poppies and Sheep, Oh My!

On our way to Cortona, for our next program, we passed though the Crete Senese. A drive that would have normally taken us 30 minutes took us over an hour. This is a part of Tuscany that refers to a hilly area, southeast of Siena, formed by deposits of irregular layers of clay and sand that were created around one million years ago, until then, in fact, the area was covered by the sea.  The process of erosion led to the formation of creases in the earth or ravines, known as “calanchi”, or "crete”. A chemical reaction of sodium sulfate has surfaced as a result of exposure to the sun on the small dome-shaped hills.  This is the reason for the rather unusual colors found there, the gray of the clay and the yellow of the sulfate, which combine to offer some of the most unique and interesting landscapes in the whole of Tuscany. The soil is perfect for growing wheat and a little yellow flower known as mustard plant.
To avoid driving off the road at nearly every curve we had to stop and take a photo or just breath in the gorgeous landscape.
I could never describe this breathtaking landscape and even photos only come close.....

Wheat, mustard and a sprinkle of poppies...
Michael dancing in the wheat and mustard plants
And we gasped!

Sheep in the poppies...Oh Dorothy!

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