Saturday, October 04, 2008


Melo drama

Every time I turn on my computer I am reminded of the Lac de Melo, a small lake at the head of the Restonica Valley in Central Corsica. I've chosen a dramatic photo (see left) of the lake as my desktop background. It had been a short but exhausting walk. We'd taken the car as far as we could and then scrambled up to the lake via the supposedly "easy" southern route, avoiding the ladders and chains that help walkers up the harder ascents further north. As we neared the top, there were small flocks of jet-black birds circling the upper slopes above our heads, and occasional helicopters from the French military swooping noisily down the valley to our right.

Nothing could have prepared us for the sight of the lake as we reached the lip of the immense stone wall that stops the waters crashing down into the lower valley. Crystal clear water - not too deep - covering flat stones on the lake bed, and a fabulous view of the further shore and the upper reaches of the valley beyond. As we took in the view in the peace of that mountain-cool afternoon, a large flock of swifts or martens descended on the surface of the lake, dozens of birds kissing the surface of the smooth water in unison, in search of drink or food.

My desk-top picture captures that scene. It's no professional shot, but it works as a reminder of a beautiful moment.

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