To own a dog is both a privilege and a responsibility. Walks are essential. To live in the countryside, close to nature, with an abundance of trees is both a joy and a worry. Water is essential for all living things. Here in the Sierra we took a trip to the reservoir or embalse in Spanish. It is a large lake with a dam. The water is a clear deep blue under the bright blues of an Andalusian sky. We walked around the shore and enjoyed the warmth, the rocks and the beauty of water, rippling gently in a slight breeze.
In the summer of 2016 I swam in the reservoir with my daughter. The water level was at is normal shoreline. In 2017 we have not had any usual downpours of rain for which this area is well known and gives it its green and wide range of trees. The water level was very low, perhaps 2 metres and we walked over the dry rocks where we had swam.
It has been a busy few weeks back, with the chestnut harvest in full swing in our area. One of the main comments is the size of chestnuts are smaller than usual due to little water. These trees need a reasonable amount of water and are not found on the hotter and drier south side of the Sierra. To me it seems amazing how the chestnuts and all the other trees seem to cope with the lack of rainfall. It has only been the cherries that have looked wilted. Their roots must penetrate deep and draw out water from sources underground. Our well on the finca is called a manantiel, meaning a possible spring coming into the rocks. It is not a very deep well and there are some stairs that go down too. This makes it easy to adjust and check the water pump. We have had to do that twice this Autumn as the water levels have gone below the pump. We must now use our water supply very carefully. Lets pray for the rain to come soon. A raindance might be lively but also perhaps we should take action in whatever ways we can to mitigate the effects of our species on this planet.
While looking after Lotte my friend Ruth’s tibetan terrier we walked down to the well and I took photographs of the changing colours of leaves in the late afternoon sun. She’s used to this as a Ruth is an artist and photographer. So there were lots of stops and starts in the walk.
The Sierra Aracena is well known for its Autumn Fall colours and is quite unique in the south for this. It is the most popular time to visit and coaches come on tours too. In Southern Spain this variety of colour from many trees is rare. Because here we usually have very high rainfall and a variety of deciduous trees.
I have been busy with produce too and making chestnut rissoles, membrillo from the quinces and madrono jam from the rather gritty but bright red fruits of Arbutus Unedo, the strawberry tree. For this month of November I have taken on the challenge of eating vegan food. I thought cutting the dairy would be hard but have got used to my tea, light black with lemon and ginger. AI love to eat a lot of fresh vegetables and rice it has not been too hard. Perhaps a recipe post is needed at the end of the month?
Abrazos, hugs from us all in Spain and thank you all for all the lovely comment on the arrival of my first grandchild, Olivia Jane. I am having a go at planting some olive seeds courtesy of you tube!