|Vulcanelli di Macalube
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
Mock us for our size, do you?
If Nature gave Mount Etna to the Sicilians to remind them to respect her authority, then she gave them the Vulcanelli di Macalube to remind them that she has a sense of humor, too.
Less than a meter high, they don't erupt so much as belch apologetically. The ground immediately around them consists of thousands of layers of cracked, dried mud, interspersed with pools of stagnant yellow water. Chunks of crumbly reddish rock shot with veins of quartz are embedded in the tufted grass surrounding the Vulcanelli's unimposing domain.
As I traipse happily from one tiny volcano to another, snapping away and putting my fingers in the ooze (it's cold), I forget that I'm overdressed and stick my foot into what looks like a wet but tractable flow. My expensive black leather boot promptly gets sucked several inches into the ground and coated in marvelously adhesive pale grey sludge. Oh Nature. You kid!
See them in action here: Bubble bubble, Hoyle & Hubble