The Wisdom of Ages

DSCN8714Earlier this month, I was captivated, mesmerised by these ancient, wise beings during a visit to Mallorca: the olive trees.

Their twisted, contorted forms spoke of mysteries, of centuries of life experience, defying the ravages of time.





DSCN8722We stayed in a beautiful cottage in the middle of the Serra de Tramuntana, a mountain range in the west of the island, which has been awarded World Heritage Status by UNESCO as an area of great physical and cultural significance.

Not far from the town of Soller, we were perched on the side of a valley, with staggering views of the ‘hills’ and terraces and surrounded by olive trees that looked about 500 years old.







DSCN8787Apparently, 90% of Majorca’s olive trees have an average age of 500 years. Some are even older, especially these in the sheltered valleys of the Tramuntana, thanks to there having been no great pests, diseases or fires there to threaten them.


DSCN8923On our walks through the trails around the cottage, we soon discovered that the olive twigs/branches are used as fence posts. And the Mallorcans do seem to love their fences, as well as their stone walls! I can understand why.






DSCN8791Quite hard to believe that this tree, below, has had the resilience and toughness to survive even a lightning strike.


IMG_3807Many of them seem to have split into 2 or 3 trees; you can clearly see where the core has rotted away long ago, yet they struggle on.


IMG_3817Something almost ‘biblical’ about the drama in this landscape.


DSCN8788The olives are such an integral part of the Mallorcan landscape and they seem to thrive on the lower slopes and plains, their soft, gentle grey-green hues giving the eye some relief amidst the intensity of the terracotta, blues and greens all around. I loved it.



DSCN8786A view of Soller, below, dwarfed by the surrounding hills.


4 thoughts on “The Wisdom of Ages

  1. hi Alison, it strikes me that the fluidity of the movement in the close up tree photos echoes your inner sound paintings. By coincidence I was looking at these on your webpage this morning and saw you are planning an exhibition at the museum in Gairloch, I look forward to that, great!

    1. Hi Lisa! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment – I really appreciate that. Love your observation – spot on, I’d say. Ah well, I’m consistent…;) Ping me your address in a PM on my Facebook Studio Page and I’ll make sure you get an invitation to the private view of the studio part of the exhibition in May. Many thanks again!

  2. Beautiful photos! I’ve just returned from a couple of weeks in Mallorca and was also fascinated by the olive trees. Even the very oldest are lovingly propped up and supported by the locals. Really enjoyed this post – Jan

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