Into the wild Puglia

This summer I spent a week in Puglia (“the heel of Italy”) near Otranto, in Salento.

Take a look at the sea that you typically find down there:

To reach the sea you have to cross a pine forest a some sand dunes (that day it was exceptionally raining):

These are the dunes seen by the beach:

Below you will find other picture of the wild nature that I’ve taken during the stay.

All pictures are taken with my N900 and can be enlarged if clicked.

Animals

Flowers & plants

Cactus flowers

As it’s happening once a year since few years, a couple of nights ago my cactus, that’s something like 8 years old, flowered and three big and wonderful flowers exploded.

You can see one of them just below: they are big (diameter of about 20 cm) white on the front and pink on the back: don’t you think they are very nice?

Let’s tell the story of this cactus: in 2003 when I was working for a bank in Rome my friend Carlo, who was working for the bank, gave me as a present the top of his old cactus that was in his office: he was moving and, instead of thrashing the cactus, he cut the top of the plant (the first 10 cm) and gave it to me since I told him that I was looking for a plant for my flat.

I was sure that the short piece of cactus would never have survived such a raw treatment, and indeed for the first 2 years nothing happened: it was standing still! I thought it was dead, but I didn’t through it away because it still was green…

Suddenly, when I moved from Rome to the north of Italy in 2005, the cactus began to grow at a fast pace (even half a meter each year) and now it is taller then me!

Furthermore, since three years every summer (in july or august) it flowers!

Flowers last no more than one day, after which they wither and, after other few days, they detach from the plant and fall down together with their supporting arm.

Please take a look to the short gallery of pictures below: I hope you like it.

Ciao

Post scriptum: all pictures are taken with my N900.

The top of the cactus and two flowers

The three flowers

Detail of cactus flower

The cactus flowers (rear view)

Another view of a cactus flower

The cactus and his flowers

The whole cactus with withered flowers the morning after

Arduino hack day in Milan

I had the pleasure to join on the 19th of June the second day of the Milan Arduino Camp: the hack day.

There were six groups (composed by less than ten persons each) which had the goal to build in one day a working robot capable of avoiding obstacles.

Pieces were mostly (but not only) extracted from broken printers (motors, transistors) and the heart of the robot obviously was an Arduino board (in our case an Arduino Uno).

Although not perfectly working at the end of the day (due to time constraint), our Cicciobot (“ciccio” means fat in italian) placed second in the final standings.

The Cicciobot

It has been a fun and very instructive experience, albeit very short and stressful (everyone was aiming at the first place!).

And I had the possibility to phisically know people since that moment known only by their nicknames…