The Islands have four seasons, although we tend to focus on summer with its deep blues and yellows ignoring the subtleties of other seasons. But Malta in autumn is simply delicious and to be treasured. For a fleeting moment, we turned our lens inland to discover a surprising palette of colours, muted and fading in late November. But spot and back lit with the remains of the day’s sun, they came into their own. Get out and enjoy the ‘golden hours’, first and last thing, before you miss the pleasure of a Maltese autumn.
Inland Malta and Gozo are all too often relegated in tourism promo to panoramic images showing steep, slopes stepped with rubble walls, and vistas taking in Mdina or Citadella. But there’s so much more to notice in the detail of the Islands’ countryside that many camera lenses overlook.
At long last, we’ve a frisson of chill in the air and good walking temperatures. Autumn into winter is the ideal time of year to head inland to glimpse another side of the Islands; one of small-holdings, farmers, fields and produce. You’ll come across folk pottering along on pony and traps, the lone figure hoeing away mid plot, and tumbled-down, ramshackle stone huts of all kinds used for implements, and even as weekend retreats for locals.
This small snapshot of rural life was along a single stretch of country path. The small-holding was closed for the day. But the wood pile was fresh, stacked ready for the open-air oven. Pass by on a Sunday and it’s likely the owners would be roasting lunch. I’ve experienced the smell of outdoor ovens in action and there’s nothing better to whet the appetite! These age-old ovens beat the Jamie Oliver promo-ed ones as their years of use give a deep, rich, smoky aroma to anything baked within.
See what you come across on a walk, photograph it and feel free to place it on our Flickr group here.
Photos: Liz Ayling