The Janus Report. Looking back and Looking Forward.

Feeding the birds at Navasola. Cirl Bunting at our rock bird table

Here are some of the activities we got up to in 2018 and I failed to post about. I will set myself a challenge to produce some more detailed posts on these places around the Sierra Aracena, Sevilla and Huelva that provide good habitats for biodiversity and the places we visited in Ireland and the U.K. too.

For now below is a taster of our year and love of nature.

Arbutus Unedo berries or madrono tree that lives wild and well at Navasola and provides the habitat the two tailed pasha needs.
Two tailed Pasha that loves dung and the madrono tree

We also managed a visit to Cañada de Los Pajaros, a bird sanctuary near the wetlands of Donana. Here there are a wide variety of native birds recuperating and some that can not be released back to the wild. I was lucky to get some close ups of the bar tailed godwit, a wader, that can fly very long distances.I feature one in my novel with a distinct penchant for turning up in many different places.

Another amazing place was a Celtic settlement on the borders of Extremadura, but as a German friend struggling to remember a long forgotten phrase said, ‘ the flowers stole the show’.

Back in the UK my daughter and I were treated to a Mother’s Day surprise and were taken to Chester Zoo for her first Mother’s Day. The zoo is famous for its breeding successes and there were baby rhinos. Olivia was more focused on her toy giraffe and I focused my new camera on the eyes of so many beautiful,creatures.

In Ireland we visited some good friends at their beautiful thatched cottage with organic gardening, bee keeping, and across the stream to a willow bog woodland. They also do their bit on the beaches nearby. Facing the Atlantic there is so much plastic washed ashore. I was inspired by our friends to get back to my poetry and found a poem I wrote about plastic in the oceans, four years ago.

In between being in Spain and the UK I found a new base for us in the U.K. so we can be a lot closer to my daughter and granddaughter. It is situated half an hour by train from Manchester and close to the Pennine Hills. There is so much natural beauty and history around with the canals and locks. And we must have trees.

But we will still stay as long as we can in our woodland in Spain. We had visitors and went on a heritage train tour along the old mines of the Rio Tinto. Strange beauty where nature reassert itself. Iron and copper is in the rocks here and still being mined close to the old train track tour.
We went back to the reservoir to check on water levels. We have had so much rain this year, so different to 2017. The reservoir was quite full in the Spring but by November levels had dropped. Who is using it all? Not the beautiful crested lark I photographed nearby or the cormorants, grebes and kites that live close by.

The final part of 2018 has been spent in the U.K.with family and friends. We did manage to visit Kew Gardens and the London Wetland Centre. And a First but wot no Foto! I didn’t take the camera!!! We saw a bittern in the reeds. A Scottish birdwatcher showed us where it was. It was so well camouflaged that even with binoculars it would have been difficult to find. Thankfully he put the hide’s scope on it and it was so clear. We stayed a while just watching.

I have spent some time reading and listening to books. These are three from writers I know who have published theirs. Two are bloggers as well as writers, Opher and Annika. I was going to do some reviews and may do yet. The other in Spanish is a most interesting account of the lives of a Spanish couple from the 1920s to 1990s living in our area of rural Spain. It is written from recordings they gave telling their life and love story through civil war, brutality, dictatorship and their courage, humour and resilience shines through. I will also continue to find a publisher for my nature novel which this year has been on the back burner. But the flame is there.

So it’s goodbye to 2018 and we return to Navasola. I will miss seeing Olivia but she knows the word Nana now among many others including ra ra for the rabbits. She has a keen eye and ear for the garden birds but points to the aeroplanes. And she is walking now! So much change in such a little being. I hope for 2019 we will see the changes needed to protect this wonderful world we live in for future generations of humans and all species.

A very happy and fulfilling 2019 to you all.


26 thoughts on “The Janus Report. Looking back and Looking Forward.”

  1. Lovely to see the wildlife photos….can’t wait for my pan -Iberian trip in May..but see you in UK soon again too..Happy 2019 to us all xxx


  2. Hi Georgina – it looks like you had a fabulous year. Nature is truly awesome and replenishes the soul.
    Thank you for your mention. I would love to read a review of Ebola.
    I would also look forward to your book. Is it finished?


    1. Hi Opher, not sure the wifi worked when in Portugal. We are now back at our finca and warming the place up. I hope you too have a wonderful year and full of natural beauty. Yes,my book is finished but I will tweak or add something and just need to get it set in stone or typeface and let it go.


  3. A very Happy New Year to you,Georgina and may it be one filled with joy, light and laughter. Your little granddaughter Olivia looks delightful and now she’s walking there is the whole world for her to explore! 😀 Wow, you’ve visited some beautiful places and I love the sound of your abode here in the U.K., how wonderful to be so close to the penines! Chester Zoo was one of my first school trips and I remember it fondly.

    Thank you so much for mentioning my book … always a joy to see it out and about! 😀😀

    Wishing you and your family a fabulous 2019! 🌺🌸

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a very interesting post and what a busy time you’ve had lately. I didn’t realise you were British, for some reason I thought you were Spanish and on your first visit to the UK! Apologies for that! Then just now when reading ABOUT, I realise I’ve visited you before.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It sounds like a good year, and Olivia is gorgeous. We’ve covered a little of the same ground and it’s funny that we both like canals. It’s too early yet for me to decide how much I will miss England. Too busy settling into a new life and challenges. Time will tell. 🙂 🙂 All the best to you for 2019!


  6. You mentioned the water levels being low in the reservoir. That clicked with me because where I live I am seeing water levels in the local creeks and such recede, not understanding where all the water is going. Strange. Wonderful post and I thank you! May you have the best year of your life yet in 2019! 🤗🤗🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Georgina 🙂 It is very interesting to see the different birds and plants where you live and travel. 🙂 I am sure little Olivia is happy to have her Grandma nearby during some of the year! Best of wishes for a happy and healthy New Year to you and your family! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to hear from you and hope all going well. Yes, it was good to be with Olivia at Christmas and I will be back to see her in March. Meanwhile mostly sunny here in Spain and not bitter cold. Uncovered a salamander the other day which was fun.🦅🐻!

      Liked by 1 person

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