Tag Archives: lombardy

inclement weather hides mountains…

One of the best things about flying to north Italy is the view you get as you fly over the Alps at this time of year. I have made this trip many many times and these spiky, snow clad mountain tops never stop giving me a little thrill every time i see them…except this time, when for the first time in my travels, they were completely hidden by the weather… goddammit! Still there were some nice cloud formations as we approached Milan, providing the first glimpse of recently flooded rice fields that so characterise the Lombardy and Piedmont landscapes…

stop motion from photos taken from my htc phone…result not too bad

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more rice…

Following on from the previous post and still in the landscape surrounding Biella; late spring and early summer the watery rice fields transform into green, green, GREEN…that moves in the wind, until eventually come harvest time late summer/autumn again  the landscape will change  to golden brown.

driving through the green green rice fields with storm approaching…

Biella is surrounded by the Alps in water filled plains, what goes up must come down and does so in the form of intense thunderstorms…

crossroads in the middle of the rice fields with a storm brewing…

After the rice is harvested, there is one final transformation as the the stubby stalks left in the ground are burnt, and the golden brown fields are hatched with giant strokes of charcoal black until it all disappears again into brown earth fields waiting for spring and the water to come again…

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There is a new mvp website for a separate project, click here to go to requested portraits website.

the rice cycle…

The summer will be spent in Biella, but more of that in future posts…Summer there means heat, humidity and mosquitoes!!!! all interdependent on the peculiarities of the landscape…

The cycle of rice within the Lombardy and Piedmont countryside is a wondrous thing. It defines the landscape and completely transforms the countryside from season to season. In the winter you can see regular fields of brown earth, perhaps a little sunken into the landscape, but normal none the less. Around about late march early April comes the first transformation, the flooding of the fields. The sluice gates are opened and the series of staggered sunken fields transform into pools of water as far as the eye can see.

When you drive to Biella from Milan or Turin, it’s like driving between seas at low(ish) tide. With the water come the mosquitoes…big like chickens (OK, maybe i exaggerate…a little) and herons and other water birds. When you fly in at this time the sun bounces off the water, and at night, the moon reflects off the watery fields and follows you across the ground until you land…

Novara (near Milan) surrounded by rice fields

There is a new mvp website for a separate project, click here to go to requested portraits website.