Wild boar activity

Only one thing could have made this mess: roots dug up, soil unearthed. Wild boar.
The damage. The evidence. Thankfully, nature will repair itself.


The culprit. Fresh hoofprints in the mud. The guilty party who made a series of cozy resting places, beneath sheltered trees.


5 to remember
sólo - only
el desorden – the mess
el danó – the damage
las pruebas – the evidence
el/la culpable – the culprit

Winter white

A white rose, in winter. white rose 9-2-15This is a rose out of time, flowering in February despite frosty nights, but very welcome.

5 to remember
una rosa – a rose [flower]
el rosal  – the rose plant
florecer – to flower
a pesar de – despite
una bienvenida – a welcome

Pink and blue sky

Somehow the blue of the sky and the pink clouds at sunset time manage not to blend together into purple. pink and blue sky6 9-2-15This winter sunset is a delicate one of wispy clouds and pale pink. pink and blue sky1 9-2-15pink and blue sky2 9-2-15pink and blue sky3 9-2-15pink and blue sky4 9-2-15pink and blue sky5 9-2-155 to remember
de algún modo – somehow
armonizar - to blend together
morado/a – purple
tenue – wispy [cloud]
pálido/a – pale

Bird song: Jay

Scarcely a day goes by when we do not hear a jay’s call in the valley. They are a common bird throughout Spain, though we rarely see them. Often a flash of blue on the wing as they fly away.

[photo arkive.org]

[photo arkive.org]

Perhaps one of the reasons we see them around here is their diet: they love acorns and that is often the easiest way to see them, when they are on the ground collecting acorns. I didn’t realize that they even have a pouch under their bill which enables them to carry several acorns, plus one in its mouth.

For more information about jays, click here for Arkive or the RSPB.
Click here to listen to the jay’s harsh call at You Tube.

5 to remember
apenas - scarcely
un arrendajo – a jay
la dieta – the diet
una bolsa – a pouch
el pico – the bill

Spring silver

The dried-up bones of plants are everywhere now, and as the winter sun strengthens these dead stalks and twigs take on a silvery sheen. They are quite beautiful.


5 to remember
reseco/a – dried-up
los huesos – the bones
los tallos – the stalks
completamente – quite [completely/absolutely, as opposed to fairly]
el lustre – the sheen

Web of roots

At the side of the Almond Track, which leads from the house down to the river and our almond field, an olive tree hangs on precariously, clinging to the earth, its roots unveiled to the air. the olive tree above1 28-1-15the olive tree above2 28-1-15Below, the web of roots is a fascinating glimpse below ground at how these trees are anchored – their roots are surprisingly shallow – and how the roots of neighbouring plants get entangled. There is something delicate and lace-like, reminding me of fine hand-worked Nottingham lace. roots1 28-1-15roots2 28-1-15roots3 28-1-15roots4 28-1-15roots5 28-1-155 to remember
una telaraña – a web
peligrosamente – precariously
afferado/a – clinging
develado/a – unveiled
una visión – a glimpse