The Last Post of Summer

Time to officially say goodbye to summer. All the migratory birds are getting ready for their long journeys. Although this year there were many swifts around the village of Castaño de Robledo we had not seen any bee eaters perched high on branches around the valley of Navasola. Occasionally we would hear some high pitched calls high in the sky but there were no bee eaters ready to pose as in previous summers. Finally, we saw a great host of golden wings, at least 30 or more, above the track by the campsite. I am not sure what a large gathering of
bee-eaters might be called but we had witnessed this before in Portugal. We think it happens as lots of birds gather together, travel together, finding good food sources before their journey back to Africa for the winter. I think an angelic host could be fitting as their wings whirr and flash golden light in the Andalucian blue skies. We wish them safe journeys and look forward to their returns.

Bee eaters seen on one of our dog walks.

What happens to all the grasshopper, crickets, cicadas at the end of summer? We can still hear them in the trees in the evenings but the noise of their whirring legs against their wing cases seems less intense. Perhaps the summer work is almost over. More young will be ready to develop and hatch out at the end of this winter.

Close up of large grasshopper, early April.

Does one red rump swallow  a summer make? We saw quite a few swallows in early spring in the Algarve but haven’t seen that many in the villages of the Sierra Aracena this year.

May to June 2015 and House MArtins 046
Red rump swallow recovering from being stunned and ready to fly off.

Here are some House Martin young from a previous year. They seem to be imprinting their surroundings and gathering for their long journey back. This year they arrived late in the Algarve and usually we see them here in late September and October. We are by the sea at the moment waiting for my grand daughter to arrive for her first and possibly last trip as a European citizen. Brexit looms and glooms. Perhaps it is the conjunction of Mars and Saturn so clearly seen last night in the summer sky over the Atlantic that makes me edgy about the future. How much time is being wasted on the politics of arrogance, exclusion and supposed greatness? Meanwhile the planet warns us with temperature rises we can do something about and constant degradation of the natural world and its wild places and inhabitants which we can  prevent, now. Those in power who cannot focus on this agenda fail the younger generation.

  • house martins sept 2015 and faro beach 002

We have had a wonderful summer of beautiful nights out with stars and full blood moons. I wrote a piece based on my first night sleeping at the finca. It was often so dark and remote but we build up fears about the dark rather than celebrate its beauty and in Mediterranean culture its coolness. So much happens here late at night and early morning in the summer. We have had plenty of good music from the early music festival in my previous post to rock, jazz and flamenco. Also in the Sierra there’s has been a feast of art exhibitions, theatre, acrobatic drama and a book festival too. Unfortunately we missed our friends Ruth Koenigsberger and Sol Fernandez Coll. But we managed to hear our local writer Margaret Van Epp speak about her book about the historical stories local people have told her. I have also enjoyed some summer reading and love the short stories of Annika Perry, a  fellow writer and blogger. I am building up the rejections on my novel but I will press on as I think it is an  entertaining and imaginative  approach to understanding the value of biodiversity in the 21 st Century.

In the U.K. we enjoyed the annual Fairport Festival at Cropredy and even danced to Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and their band reliving Pet Sounds and the Beach Boys under a more stormy British sky. The rains decided to come as we camped in middle England. We slept in the van we would use to move house! Here is Olivia helping drive our hired VW transporter full of books and stuff for our new base in the U.K. She seems happy we will be nearby.



For now I have a terrible desire for a camping van( hybrid, electric, solar powered?) and will also head to the beach with the crowds for this last day of summer. I haven’t been swimming in the sea yet! I keep thinking life will slow down so I can write and blog more but this Grandma business seems to take over!

35 thoughts on “The Last Post of Summer”

  1. You are certainly right about this grandparent business taking over Georgina. It’s exhausting but rewarding.
    You still seem to have found time to fit in some nice bits of nature. It looks fabulous to me to see such wonderful creatures.


  2. Hi 🙂 Love seeing the beautiful smile of your granddaughter! ❤ I hope she has fun visiting you at your home: so much to see and absorb and wonder about. 🙂 I enjoyed reading about your summer adventures. It seems like the summer has disappeared quickly. The crickets are still increasing in volume here. I think they reach their peak in September before tapering off. It is worthwhile being persistent with your story. 🙂 All the articles I have read from published authors talk about how many rejection letters they received before they were finally published. I am patiently waiting for the sequel. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, you may have to be patient in waiting! This little one seems to distract me but I will continue soon. Am not sure about the crickets but there seems to be less now and the birds seem to be on the move. It might be partial moves at present looking for good food but not sure. Thanks for your kind words and support with my novel too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah – sigh … the Fairport Convention Festival – that brings back some memories; managed to see them at Cropredy in the early days – must have been 1981 I think while on a family boating holiday on the Oxford Canal. Judy Dyble was still in the band then before Sandy Denny. I have most of their major albums, along with Fotheringay and the Strawbs. I must dig them out and have a nostalgic couple of hours …

    Great reading of your adventures – summers not over yet!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love Olivia’s smile! She is gorgeous! You have certainly had a very busy summer and have managed to pack so much in! Summer is definitely over here. The temperatures in the middle of the day aren’t too bad, but overnight…..! Brrrrr! We even had thick fog this morning 😮
    I have the same forebodings about what is happening, or not happening! The awful posturing and arguing by those in charge of us about silly unimportant things while our planet is falling apart, the poor are getting poorer and there is very little hope for our young people.
    I love all your photos of the creatures you’ve seen this summer. Have a happy and successful autumn xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hopefully you will get a warm Autumn as the sun usually comes out again as the schools start! I am beginning to be very annoyed with our political leaders and these ongoing issues and can’t refrain from following it all either. However have had a lovely few days holiday with Olivia and her Mum and Dad. They could go out in the evening and we could just rest from busy beach days! Hope all goes well with you and yours too as the seasons change.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh congratulations. I think I might try a post once a month but have just come back to UK for Olivia’s first birthday. So all gets a bit rushed but really enjoy time spent with her. Am sure you will have lots to do and lots of fun but hope you can keep us bloggers a bit in touch too.


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