February Fun, Fotos, and Short Walks.

It has been a busy February and so I am glad of the extra day in the shortest month when winter can turn to spring here in Andalucia. The photos below are from our short local walk with Lotti the tibetan terrier. This joins the main sendero/footpath from Castano del Robleda to La Pena and Alajar. At the beginning of the month it is very wintry and all those autumn leaves featured in my Autumn walks post have blown onto the red sandy ground. But it is now so much wetter and the green moss is alive and well after its summer’s rest. Nature is resilient and adapts to many changes and with so many problems facing our planet I would like to focus on that determination to keep on trying and surviving.

 

P1110260

 

 

We have also enjoyed more walks around our own little valley but with a caveat to avoid falling into badger holes. We have discovered quite a few and also their very clearly marked latrines, carefully excavated to fit their poo. Sorry, I missed taking a picture of that.

 

Winter is also the time for visitors. Some who want to get in from the cold. Our dear old car is a favourite habitat for wood mice nests. We were waiting for the mother to return to rescue her naked, fairly new born babies before we could go shopping. They may even have been with us on previous trips.

 

Other visitors came and not expecting warmth as we have a much colder climate than their home in Portugal. We went to discover our frontier town which we have only ever driven through on the road to and from Seville. However, our day walking around the town of Higuera was full of welcome sunshine and blue skies. There were also lots of storks nesting too and of course the ones with the highest status on the church steeple. Higuera would have been full of people on the 5th of January for their most famous processions for the Three Kings celebrations. Hence the statues and a lovely avenue of orange trees. Higuera is 200m lower than where we are in Fuenteheridos. It was warmer and the Viburnums tinus and carpenters bees were out and about. See featured image.

Another favourite short walk is by the now closed Aracena campsite and source of the great river Odiel. We went on a Sunday when all the families were out for picnics but the walk by the river and  old cork trees was fairly quiet and full of birds but all quite artful and not easy to identify. The rocks by the stream were quite amazing in the sunlight and the old tree with some life at the top.

We have also visited Donana again and I will devote a whole post to that but it was again a marvellous day full of storks, flamingos, a very large flock of coots and some spoonbills that I finally managed to photograph.

The last day of February, when it is the 28th is a holiday for all in Andalucia. It becomes a long weekend a puente, bridge. Our local town was full of visitors and some posh cars. This seemed to be an attraction for photographs too. So there is one of me with my favourite car, Jud, now 24 years old and still going strong over our rough rocky track.

I think I might have to take the view that the old car has done much better on carbon emissions than these new ones. We didn’t stay too long to check whether these were electric but they were certainly worth a lot of money and on show. We bought our local bread and went back to our quiet woodland.

Near the town of Cortelezor there is a very rough road and we didn’t see many cars along this one. We wanted to find the river valley where we had walked along some years ago.In a very small area just by this picnic place we discovered some botanical wonders.

The tiny wild daffodil tops the bill among the heathers. But the rock formations were astounding in the background. There was a thorny acacia, a narrow leaved ash, the stripy leaves of thistles to be and a flower we have yet to fully identify. PS And now we have! Anchusa undulata.

And below the wild hoop daffodils; Narcissus triandrus and this mediterranean mystery. We have scoured the book but no match yet. Yes, Anchusa undulata, alkanet is Anchusa azurea.

img_1006

 

And for extra measure and for the extra day we have been to the Cheese Festival in Portugal, about an hour or so from the Sierra. We missed the rain here and my vegan attempts were sorely tested. However, there is an important rural economy here based on quality produced cheeses and I do think there needs to be a focus on supporting small farmers, traditional food and farming. Here is a photo of one of the local Alentejo choirs which UNESCO recognise as part of our world heritage. The singing was deep and powerful from the male choirs but there are mixed voice choirs and female ones too.

img_1106

Isle De France rare breed.

I hope this post brings you some of the vitality of nature and rural life here in this part of Andalucia and the Alentejo and can help revive and restore us as we go through tough times.

39 thoughts on “February Fun, Fotos, and Short Walks.”

  1. Georgina, a joy to travel around your beautiful Andalucia with you … it looks magical and I love the nature photos. Cork trees enthrall me. The choir must have been amazing … they look like they mean business! Wishing you a wonderful Sunday! 😀🌺 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I relish your posts. I’m only slowly getting to know Spain, and as far as Andalucia goes, I’ve really only visited the historic destinations of Seville, Córdoba, Cádiz and Granada. These are wonderful of course, but really, I’m more drawn to smaller communities which have their history too, but also the wealth of the natural world to explore. I’ve loved my chance sightings of storks atop pylons and so forth. Your little corner of Spain compares with the little corner of France we lived in which was similarly economically deprived but with a rich natural world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you can enjoy some of this area. It is quite different as it is greener with more rainfall and trees than many other parts of Southern Spain. Yes, perhaps like some parts of rural Spain and for me it’s the Derbyshire of Spain with all the stone walls, except I think there are more trees and definitely sun!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I will post on Doñana soon as with the help of my Spanish teacher have found out some interesting conflicts over the water problems facing these wetlands. It seems it’s so important to involve and support local farmers and people around these important conservation sites.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The notion of the field mice accompanying you on a shopping trip made me smile. I expect they would have appreciated a morsel of cheese. 🙂 🙂 Spring has been rapidly heading for Summer here, Georgina, but we have a cooler couple of days and a hint of rain this weekend. Glad it waited until Carnival was over.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, Georgina, for sharing your lovely photos. We have sunny days here but it’s still on the chilly side. The orange trees and stork nests remind me of my time in Seville, Spain and in Morocco. I’ll send you an email with my dates in Seville later this month and hope we can arrange a meet-up.

    Like

      1. ooh thanks for this, really helpful.

        We are not in the south this winter, been delayed in England. Won’t be back until the autumn. However Jo has shared it is lovely and warm, albeit they need more rain.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Fascinating part of the world and adapting to life there sounds adventurous. Enjoyed your descriptions and particularly the wild flowers. I went travelling through the Pueblo’s Blancas region based around Grazelema – the wild iris and orchids were in bloom. Also got to Donana, for the incredible bird life and a glance early one morning of an Iberian lynx.
    Enjoyed reading Chris Stewart’s Driving over Lemons and his wry and witty outlook and encounters with the locals.
    Look forward to your forthcoming posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for following. I think we were inspired by Chris Stewart and visited that region first. We love Doñana too and you are so lucky to have a glimpse of the lynx. Will catch up with you soon.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.