Saturday, 21 October 2017

My morning walk.

Most mornings we all go out for a walk at the same time,  Pip and I go for a brisk walk and John keeps an eye on Monty as he (Monty) is very slow and not aware of any passing cars so needs a minder!  But occasionally Pip doesn't want to go very far,  there is no apparent reason why,  but then during the day we find she doesn't eat much either, and sleeps a lot so maybe there is a reason that only she knows.

So on days like this - today being one of them - I go out later on my own for a walk.   Today I went up towards Yegen, as far as the cemetery,  and took a series of photos, just about a 360 degree view. 

I started taking photos from the left of Yegen cemetery,  then left again and so on until the final picture is back to the cemetery.  Some of them overlap - if you look closely!

The forecast said 19 or so in the shade,  a lot warmer at midday walking uphill!!

Friday, 20 October 2017

October update.

At the end of August I added some photos of Paco's kittens,  another kitten appeared recently although there is still no sign of a mum.....  this new addition is almost all white but with ginger ears and a ginger striped tail.  Doesn't play or mix with the other ones...

2 of the other kittens,  the one we call Minky and one of the tabbies,  followed us home last week.  We made our breakfast coffee and were sitting on the terrace and heard little kitten cries.  They were outside the gate, then climbed up onto a branch of the mulberry tree.  After I'd finished my coffee I picked them  up out of the tree and took them home,  they stayed where I put them on the chair outside their house and haven't followed us again.  This new one isn't  big enough - or brave enough - to follow us yet!

The moon is setting after the full moon around the 8th of October....if you click on the photo you can see the moon just above the rocks on the way down to gypsies leap / salto do los gitanos. 

and looking the other way the sun is just rising above Sierra Gador. 

It's daylight for quite a while before the sun rises here,  Sierra Gador is about 3000 metres high so there's quite a way to go before the sun pops up and we can see it.

The first big autumn rains came on Wednesday,  it was my birthday and we had thought to go out for drinks and lunch to a local restaurant,  eat on the terrace in the sun, but no.  Woke to clouds and then rain followed by thunder, lightning and torrential downpours.  It eased off during the afternoon.  Today though was back to normal,  clear blue skies and wall to wall sunshine with temperatures in the low 20's.

Friday, 6 October 2017

And that was September....

Mostly photos again taken  - and forgotten about - during September.  We had some wonderful weather,  we think September and October are amongst our favourite months as it's not too hot, not too cold, not too windy.....   We probably have a temperature of the mid to high 20's so it's still plenty hot enough to swim, walk, start the autumn garden tidying but without being unpleasantly hot.

At the beginning of September we woke to a low cloud bank which ran along the valley below us,  from left to right was a shiny white cloud.



A few days later Pip and I were on our early morning walk in the direction of Yegen while Monty pottered very slowly up through Montenegro with John keeping an eye on him.  As we came up the new  concrete road and turned the corner to head down to the stream - the area know as Gypsies Leap - salto de los gitanos - there were 3 mountain goats just to our left.  Normally very shy,  they leap and bound away but these just looked at us curiously.  A few photos,  then we carried on walking down to the stream, and on our return about 5 minutes or so later, they were still there although higher up the rocks.

We went out a bit later this morning,  these were taken about 8.30 - 8.40.  The sun is up, the sky is blue!

And our neighbours yucca is blooming again..

Now we are into October,  it is still very  warm and although we had a half hour shower last Wednesday,  that bit of rain wasn't much.  A couple of cloudy afternoons too,  but still warm enough in the pool to swim every day.  Today was 25 on the shady terrace,  but the forecast for the next few days is a little bit cooler,  a little bit cloudier,  autumn is coming.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

A wet end to August.

Although I'm sure if you're over on holiday it's not welcome rain,  but it's much needed especially for the reservoirs - the water levels are very very low.  At the end of July, the levels had 40% less water than the same time 2015 and classified as emergency levels. There is more information here on the Seaside Gazette magazine.  We were woken by thunder, lightning and rain at 2.30 early hours of Monday morning,  rain and thunder rumbled round yesterday plus 2 hail storms,  the second of which was very noisy and they were more like ice chips than little round balls.

The agave flower spike that I added photos of last time,  has now started to lean and sway in the breeze.  From it's base though have appeared a few odd off-shoots,  one of which is blooming.  Very odd.

A few weeks ago,  maybe longer,  a neighbours cat produced 4 kittens which were very shy but now come out to play when we walk past.   Mum is a tabby cat,  her kittens are not.  1 is totally black,  2 are tabby,  and 1 is mink coloured,  a silvery pale fur with beautiful blue eyes.  Almost Siamese.

Cute, me?  We call her Minky.

Tabby 1

Minky playing with Pip's lead
They are happy where they are,  don't follow us home,  but we usually see a couple of them in the morning. 

Our pear tree is a very early fruiter,  we have usually  finished picking by the middle of June unlike our neighbour's tree which is a different variety and is ready in August.  And by the middle of August our tree thinks it's Autumn and is changing colour and dropping it's leaves.

August is also the time for figs,  and also the blackberries which seem early this year.  Maybe to do with the lack of rain / hot summer.... who knows.

The thunder is off again,  rumbling all around us,  but only a light drizzle at the moment.
Definitely not holiday weather!

Just about to publish this blog when a humungous clap of thunder overhead nearly made me fall off my stool and now we have a downpour out there.  No need to water the garden this week!

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Hello! Still here :)

Another 3 months or so has passed by so quickly,  I've been looking through photos taken over the past few weeks and have come up with a selection......

May was sunny as normal,  we had our usual fiesta here in Montenegro for Santa Fatima,  but instead of everyone bringing food and drink to share,  this time lottery tickets had been sold with the addition of 3 euros on the price - the extra going to pay for all the food and drink.  It's the norm here in the villages especially at the December lottery of El Gordo,  the extra 3 euros paid by people goes a long way to helping cover the costs of celebrations during the year.

the start of the food selection,  meats and cheeses but more to come, plus wine, beer and soft drinks.


ripening mulberries
In June we went down to Playa Granada,  Motril,  where there is an airshow every year.  Parking along the beach roads,  food and drink at the chiringuitos where we stopped for coffee and tostadas before the show started.

A date for your diary..... next years airshow is June 17th.

And it's free.

Just bring your deckchair and some sunblock :)

There are a lot of unusual and spiky plants around,  one of which is the agave.    The agave puts out a spike, a flower / seed head but then the main plant dies off.  This year we seem to have a lot of them flowering - we counted 13 or so just on one area of land.  At first the  spike looks a bit like a piece of asparagus...

April 20th

April 24th

June 5th

June 8th

June 20th
July 22nd
Now the seed heads are starting to form and the birds are constantly flying in and out eating.  The base of the plant is more or less dead and the flower spike - probably because it is top heavy - is starting to lean to one side.  Eventually it all dies  and collapses.

Spectacular while it lasts. 

I read on this blog which is written by a couple who live near Cabo de Gata, a Natural Park at the coast, that the agave is under threat from a black beetle - picudo negro.  So enjoy the photos while you can.  The relevant post - amongst lots of wonderful photos of the scenery at the coast - is back on May 15th.  But a lovely blog to look at.

July was as hot as we'd normally expect - until it wasn't!  We had a heatwave,  not the Lucifer that's been in the papers recently - I think that was a more widespread across southern Europe thing - this was perhaps just Spain and before the main tourist season.  But it was hotter here than Lucifer,  overnight temperatures of 28 and we peaked one afternoon on a shaded terrace at 40 degrees.  That was nothing compared to Granada, Sevilla etc but super hot for here.  Thankfully it's cooled down a touch and after a day last week of "hairdrier" weather which brought dust and hot air,  it is now a very unusually cool 20 overnight and 30 today max.

This weekend is fiesta in Yátor,  music and food last night, lunchtime today, tonight and lunchtime tomorrow.  The fiesta day is actually on Tuesday, Asunción de la Virgen María
Tomorrow is the day they have the foam and water fiesta,  this is what you can expect...
(pictures from a few years ago.)

So that's it for now, or on my current form, that's it for a few months.  I must try harder,  I do take photos but not so many,  but I will try to keep up to date. 

Thanks for sticking with me!

Sunday, 30 April 2017

At the end of another month!

Time does seem to fly by,  we've had at least a month of glorious weather and the toe-dipping in the pool that I was doing last time became a proper swim session over the Easter weekend. 

Just after Easter, on the 20th April,  at 2.30pm, smoke started billowing from behind the hill that comes out of Yator and runs up parallel to us.  Our land goes down to a stream,  then the hill rises up from there and this is not the first time that there has been a fire the other side of it,  no doubt it won't be the last time either.  After about half an hour of smoke,  we heard the fire engines coming into Yator.  Another half  hour,  and a helicopter came and dropped off guys above the fire line,  then it went off with its water bucket collecting and dropping load after load of water.  We watched 20 or more trips,  some from the village water deposit, but most from further down the valley in the direction of Ugijar where there are vegetable growing tents and larger water deposits. 

hovering over Yator's water deposit

lifting off, turning round ready to drop water

the fire is close to the village
taken from our side garden....

By 5pm the smoke had almost gone and the helicopter stopped dropping water.  Until next time......

The wild flowers are in full bloom - there is a lot of colour at the side of the road at the moment - poppies are the most obvious as they're so bright, but so many other flowers too.

The most spectacular of all at the moment are not wild flowers but the ice plants in the garden.  They adore sunshine,  they are just wonderful....

Carpobrotus edulis and C.chilensis (yellow and dark pink)
Otherwise known as..... the Hottentot fig,  the highway ice plant or pig face! 

Tomorrow,  in common with many countries,  is a holiday.  Fiesta del Trabajo.  Labour day.  Workers day.  However you call it,  it's a day off work.  We have noticed more people passing by today,  walking, cycling,  and  enjoying the long weekend.