Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Eduardo Scissorhands

Are you getting tired of this little tour around the Molfettan countryside? Just a bit of patience and I'll soon take you back to town!

The countryside is very important in Molfettan culture. The two bastions of the local economy were traditionally the sea and the countryside. The sea for fishing and commerce, the countryside for agriculture: olives, mainly, but definitely not only.

Locally, olive trees are pruned so that all the upward growing branches are cut off and only the downward growing ones remain. This facilitates the harvesting of the olives...you just have to rake down the branches to pull off the olives, rather than having to climb up into the tree, chasing after the fruit on those upper branches.

The result is some pretty strange looking gnarled and contorted trees. I'm not sure what the owner of this tree had in mind with his attempt at topiary, but it looks kind of like a French poodle to me!

9 comments:

marie6 said...

I like the title you chose for this post!
Thank you from Joe for your compliments about his work.

Hilda said...

Oof. That almost belongs in a nightmare! Fantastic.

Ming the Merciless said...

Poor tree! Your explanation helped explain its gnarly looking branches.

Hilda said...

I forgot to tell you: I've just asked a priest-artist/art historian friend about the depiction of Mary as the Immaculate Conception with the moon at her feet. It's typical here, and I always just assumed it came from Spain, along with Catholicism. I hope he can answer my questions. You, JM and Rob got me curious…

Pietro said...

Splendid image and interesting explanation! Great post.

LaGrasta said...

Speaking of the country side. I have relatives building a very modern house out by an old hospital. I believe it to be a mental hospital. While visiting Molfetta, the hospital was under refurbishing. Do you know the one I speak of? Any story behind it?

I remember on the way out to it from the port, we passed a beautiful old home with "SOFIA" scripted over the door. This is my 4 year old daughter's name.

Saretta said...

Marie - I thought the title was rather clever! ;-)

Hilda - btw, did I tell you it's a carnivorous olive tree? ;-) I'm curious to know about the moon!

Ming - Looks arthritic, doesn't it?

Pietro - thanks! :-)

Lagrasta - do you remember if the old hospital was on the road to Terlizzi? Was it painted yellow? If so, it is now a residential home for people with serious multiple disabilities.
Sofia is a beautiful name!

LaGrasta said...

I thought the hospital was white, but it may have been yellow. I'll have to look back through my photos. I don't recall the name Terlizzi. It did sit right on the road however.

Lost in Sicily said...

i love this crazy tree, and the molfetta countryside.