As the sun beats down and we lie on our bench we can always hear them squawk; the sound of chainsaws. Like strimmers they’re a part of countryside living in Spain. A few of our almond trees have bitten the dust and stand, nestled among healthy fig and olive trees, gnarled and broken with their coating of mustard-coloured lichen.
It’s been our turn to cut them into stove-sized bits – including branches which make excellent kindling. Like oak, almond is one of the best woods for fires; it’s rock hard, throws off lots of heat and takes a long time to burn. We haven’t much but the small piles scattered around will be collected and put somewhere dry. Exposed to the sun and wind for over a year since their demise, the wood doesn’t need to be seasoned.
When the sun disappears behind the mountains in a few months’ time, these logs, burning with a sweetish smell, will be very much welcome. In the meantime, there’s plenty of gorgeous sun and warmth to be had.
(We don’t really lie around on benches – too many almonds to collect.)
© con jamón spain