We’re halfway through autumn in the northern hemisphere. Persephone has made her way to the underworld to join her husband Pluto (AKA Hades) to continue her work as Queen of the Underworld. Meanwhile, Demeter, Persephone’s mother, is turning inward and the earth slowly begins its winter cycle. Pictured is Lago di Pergusa, or Pergusa Lake, outside of Enna, Sicily. Legend is, this is where Pluto first stole the maiden Persephone (Kore) from the upper world and brought her to the lower world. He rose through the lake’s waters on his chariot as Persephone was collecting flowers with her friends on its shores. Taken against her will, Persephone’s screams were heard by her mother, but her abduction happened quickly, and Demeter could not find her. As the ancient myth of the cycles of life and death explains.
Pergusa is in the Erei mountains. It sits at 2188 feet above sea level. Scientists date the lake’s origins to 20,000 years ago. It is the only lake in Sicily with no tributaries, and its water level varies throughout the year according to precipitation and seasonal evaporation. The lake itself is a nature reserve and inaccessible, although tragically, it is encircled by an auto racetrack. (Don’t get me started.) I took this photo from the Selva Pergusina or Parco Pergusa, a wooded area along the lake.