I have always taken a liking to Stones, Animals and Plants
I studied geology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH in Zurich and graduated in 1987. I worked in geological offices for 27 years. My two small geological life works include: Mapsheet "Albis" and mapsheet "Hitzkirch" of the Swiss Geological Atlas 1:25'000 mapped including corresponding explanations.
The word "Sicily" has always evoked a sense of 'Promise'.
In December 1991 I visited the Etna for the first time and fell in love with a four-hectare feral piece of land with old vine-growing terraces and a delapidated wine press building. For 25 years I spent my holidays cultivating the land and renovating the wine-press building. Then in 2017 I finally moved with my three Sicilian street dogs and two cats from the Swiss mountains to Sicily on Mount Etna.
My passion are my twenty hectares of land, my olive trees and my olive oil, my oaks and chestnuts, the dry-stone walls, the old wine-press buildings, the restoration of a piece of old cultural landscape. And the porcupines.
My eight dogs and three cats teach me life's invaluable lessons. You can read more about this exchange under the heading 'dogfriendly'.
And if you wish to dig a little deeper into my 'here and now' keep reading...
Observing a box of swifts swooping in the bright, deep blue, late afternoon sky, above the roofs of Linguaglossa in Sicily has been a tremendous experience. In the last few days they have returned from Africa. A whole life's frenzy, played out in the air, never stepping foot on soil below.
Today reaches the last day of March 2019, it is 17:45. Not a sound to be heard, not even in the village. A starling calls out a long drawn out song, he also has his winter quarters on my roof. The laurel tree blossoms. During the day, when the sun shines, it is full of buzzing bees. Here and there a dove flies by in a hurry. And I hear the mellow sound of the tower jackdaws that live in the holes in the wall. Sublime. About me and my internet profile, this column is about me.
Me: Cats; there's always one close by, Tigitigi is still a foundling cat from Switzerland. Dogs, there are eight in total, all from Linguaglossa, stray dogs. Dana, Fiar, Cetti, Leon with his foster mother Trente, Cesare with his sister Rosy, who disappeared without a trace a few months ago, and the unseparable friends Emma & Tina. Thousands of oaks on 19 hectares of land, many chestnuts, dozens of elms, nine black pines, five pines. Holm oak, wild cherry, sorbus, a maple, about 500 olive trees, hazel bushes, fig and almond trees, pear and apple trees. A pomegranate bush. Quinces, medlars, tree nuts, cherries, apricots. Mulberries. Prickly pear. Mandarins, soon also lemons and kiwi.
Immerse yourself in the old cultural landscape with its terraced mountains from the valley to the highest ridge, overgrown mule tracks paved with stones, delapidated wine-press buildings. After the war, the steep, labour-intensive country was abandoned. Many emigrated to Australia, many in the canton of Aargau in Switzerland.
Sicily, the magic inherent in the place and in the word. Archaic and anarchic despite EU varnish, rough, wild, beautiful. A long history.
I am a geologist and love landscape and even more I love trees and forests. In 1992, I took care of the first piece of land on Etna that had been damaged by countless fires laid by people. Where there was wasteland, today in summer I walk in the shade of oaks and chestnuts.
The silence, the power, the magic, the history and the beauty of this land with its trees, plants and animals, that I open to you. Di tutto cuore.