Spanish nature

This tag is associated with 39 posts

‘Walking and trekking in the Sierra Nevada’ – book

While perusing a local shop aimed at healthy people – hikers, trekkers, climbers etc – we came across a cute book all about our local mountain range – mainland Spain’s highest, second only to the Alps in western Europe: the Sierra Nevada. We never cease to marvel at its beauty as we drive to Granada, … Continue reading

Getting hot under el cuello

Late July and it’s been a cruel, cruel summer…so far. Enough sweat has already been expelled from our bodies to fill an English village pond (we’ve written about the heat before). Unable to simply hang up their fur coats like Zsa Zsa Gabor in a Bel Air restaurant, the cats have found their favourite spots which … Continue reading

To dye for – cochineal (a prickly tale)

Life is – in the countryside here in Andalucía – never having to say you’re sorry…for killing things. Huge ants build empires under the lawn, wild boar trash the place, processionary caterpillars cause a risk to animals; they need a tough talking to now and again, lest they take over one’s entire house and garden. The muffled … Continue reading

Ratatouille on the menu – building the huerta

Regular readers may be aware of our past attempts at building a grave-shaped herb garden, growing ‘special’ seeds from Órgiva’s very-own seed bank/exchange – and generally planting, pickling and preserving stuff. We’ve taken a step forward and built two large vegetable beds (20 sqm total) so we can become Tom and Barbara, only not as attractive. … Continue reading

Follow the leader – processionary caterpillars

We recently noticed white ‘clouds’ in our pine trees – like blobs of candy floss abandoned high up in the branches. We discovered they were the silk nests of processionary caterpillars. Should you touch one – or a dog or cat step on one – it can be very unpleasant and even fatal to animals, … Continue reading

Rainforest Órgiva

A friend told us recently: “do not leave that huge hole in the orchard without filling it in, otherwise it will turn into a well if it rains heavily.¨ Oops. Imagine pouring a bucket of water over a couple of ants; that’s how we felt earlier today. One of us stayed inside ‘holding the fort’ as … Continue reading

Cabo de Gata, Almería – isolated beauty

Heading east along the coast from Motril, the greenhouses around Almería sweep right to the seashore giving the impression you might be driving through a winter-wonderland rather than the driest place in Europe. More than half of Europe’s fresh fruit and vegetables are grown in these vast greenhouses which cover an area the size of … Continue reading

Jardin Nazari – Vélez de Benaudalla

A small piece of the Generalife in the Alhambra was seemingly plucked from Granada and gently placed in this sleepy town, a short distance inland from the Costa Tropical. But the Jardin Nazari, tucked away in the backstreets of Vélez de Benaudalla, is no Johnny-come-lately – it´s been here, in one form or another, since … Continue reading

Abandoned bee hives (photo)

As we enter the last week of February, devoid of a leap day (the next is 2016), we awake to light and not dark. For several days the air has been warm, the daily ritual of building a fire will soon be gone. Away from the roads and bustle of Órgiva, the rocky, mainly dry riverbed of … Continue reading

The sky’s the limit: Pitres time lapse

We stumbled upon this brilliantly-edited, beautiful time lapse film of the ever-changing skies above the town of Pitres, a 40 minute drive from Órgiva. The photographer – Francisco J Perez Herrera – states that ‘it’s the result of 4 months of work taking over 18,000 photographs, through more than 30 hours of editing and countless hours … Continue reading

Passing wind (hopefully)

If the orange earth under our feet were the sea, our house would have headed for port a long time ago. A bride leaving Órgiva’s church would be in tears (or hopefully laughing); her hair in tatters, her bouquet ruined. The lights flicker; banshee-wailing winds have come with a vengeance. The outside area has been rearranged, … Continue reading

One for the vine: pruning and the moon

It’s sometimes starless here, sometimes bible black; and on those still nights you could hear an almond drop. At the new moon – as it is today, 20 January 2015 – the valley’s dogs will know it’s time to settle down on this dark night. Our knowledge of ‘country life’ – in Ireland, England and … Continue reading

Snowy rooftops in Bubión (photo)

On a clear day you can see forever – just not today. While the UK faced its coldest night of the winter so far, here we experienced our first Spanish snow. Not exactly crisp underfoot – more soft and a bit sludgy – we still had to take care on the road leading into Bubión, one of … Continue reading

A pressing engagement: the olive harvest

We awoke early and headed to a friend’s olive grove, the oxalis – yet to show its yellow flowers – was crisp underfoot in the cold air. Two gigantic nets were laid beneath the first tree and off we went, agitating each branch with bamboo sticks to remove the olives. Hitting and shaking the branches resulted … Continue reading

Cacti and webs (photo)

We do like Mondays, and especially today. High pressure has slunk in from the west, smoke from burning olive logs rises vertically with no buffeting breeze, and there’s barely a sound. The low sun means sunglasses are needed as much now as in the scorching summer months; it’s a special time of year. On a … Continue reading