Summer memories now Autumn skies are upon us. I think this post will focus on photography and trying to capture or not capture key moments. This summer was very memorable for a wedding and the weather. I’ve decided to show some photographs of my daughter’s wedding as I felt the photographer was superb in capturing natural portraits and making the most of the beautiful location of a working farm and barn wedding venue by a lake. But with all the best planning in the world no human could provide the sun and fantastic cloud formations.
And here are some of our own. The only one of myself and my girls is a selfie. Think we were all too busy either photographing others, even the photographer. He was distracting Olivia with pictures he had taken of her! Ireti used my camera which can take good videos and she added some good scenes for a movie record.
The wedding day was the one day of sunshine in a month of rain. A few days later, the Whaley Bridge Dam was near to collapse as within one day a months rain fell causing cascades of water over the dam wall as the reservoir was already full. The town had to be evacuated and there were warnings for many living along the River Goyt which the dam is on. It is our local river but we are higher uphill.
In contrast to the UK with our return for a rest to Spain the temperatures were more pleasant than the year before but with no rain in our Spring. It was so dry underfoot as I walked around and a town and villages about 10 km away from us were evacuated because of a wildfire. The helicopter fire fighting base is near us on the opposite side of the valley. They scoop up large containers of water and carry them to nearby fires. The news report gives the detail of all the firefighting that went into this fire and this was successfully soon under control and people could return home.
My friends water supply from a usually fast running stream ran dry and some villages had water brought in. Our own village Fuenteheridos is famous for its 12 springs and these were fine. This area should be within one of the wettest western areas of Southern Spain. Recently in eastern Spain there has been tremendous rain and flooding.
We were fine with water until September and now our own well is giving a few hundred litres a day. This is just as I get an automatic irrigation system going. That had to stop and and became manual again as waste washing up water was taken out for key plants. At the moment just enough. And still very little rain has fallen and this could affect the chestnut harvest.
However, August was a wonderful month for free music and lots of cultural activities. And an amazing mix too, flamenco guitar in Fuenteheridos and Celtic music in Castano. We were able to dance to some English hornpipe music in the square of a Spanish village. There was also the yearly medieval music in the local town of Aracena. One performance showed the history of dance and the development of different steps. We have also danced with the local organisation of traditional dances and met them again in Tavira in Portugal. This was a four day event or feria based on the food, culture and music of the Mediterranean. There was so much variety of really good and free music there too. It’s worth a separate post and certainly worth going to in Tavira in early September.
So do we fiddle while our forests burn. I cannot blame the musicians and all of us who love music but there must be changes we all make. Our political leaders must be made to act . Ordinary heroes, like those who worked tirelessly in the U.K. to stop the dam collapsing and manage evacuations and the bomberos forestales, forest firefighters do an amazing and heroic job and locally have contained some serious fires but it is a dangerous job. We cannot afford to keep losing trees, habitats for biodiversity creatures and plants. And especially old forests, like in the Amazon.
There seems to be a local ‘rural’ awareness that the weather is very unpredictable and there may be longer than normal periods of the dry season. There is also a rising climate movement too here in Spain and a local campaign against a wider and faster road through a beautiful part of our river valley.
In the UK and the UN the politicians seem to listen but the actions needed still fall short. As with my previous poem, we cannot keep on with the ‘same old’ ways.
Weddings, children, music, all uplift our spirits and give us hope for the future. Action is needed to uphold that hope.
And goodbye from the baby house martins I photographed at the farm on the wedding day. They should hopefully have flown by now and reached somewhere in Africa. A perilous journey for the young at the best of times.