Category Archives: The Sound of…

Ever wondered what a gecko sounds like?

We were sitting in the shade under the pergola, enjoying a late morning cafelito and agua, watching a ‘bootcut’ eagle circling over the olive grove on the hilltop opposite. He was alone, but was still calling, kli-kli-kli, when suddenly there was a different call. Click on the video below to listen…

It was a gecko, hidden somewhere in the honeysuckle and jasmine which climb up from plant pots, through the rough roof of brezo de mimbre [wicker roofing] into the sunshine. The geckos are so difficult to spot, so shy. We know they get into the house through the air bricks. D found one two days ago behind the fridge. Possibly this is why our house is relatively bug-free, for saying we live in the middle of the country.
Seeing or hearing a gecko is always a treat.
5 to remember
la sombra – shade
de enfrente – opposite
solo/a – alone
las macetas – plant pots
el video – video

The sound of summer on the Thyme Track

We woke early this morning and took the opportunity to go for a walk before the heat made the prospect too daunting. We walked along the Thyme Track, the quietest part of the valley, past Horse Corner, now a mass of golden grasses, past Hermano’s olive grove [belonging to Pablo’s brother], to the end of the valley where the path fades out into nothing and we can go no further.
We stopped, to listen to the silence, revelling in the lack of noise pollution. No planes overhead, no strimmers, no mopeds… and unusually, no tractors.
5 to remember
temprano/a – early
la oportunidad – opportunity
desalentador/a – daunting
la perspectiva – prospect [situation envisaged]
muchísimo/a – masses

The sound of… an oriole in the plum tree*

* with apologies to Chris Stewart
Our terrace hangs on the edge of the hillside, near to us are three fruit trees – one plum, two fig – and directly in front is a huge spreading walnut tree. The local bird population flits from one to another, the sparrows migrate to the trees in two groups, one from their nesting spot behind the solar placas on the kitchen roof, the second group from the roof of the pool house. The density of this traffic increases when the fruit is ripe. At the moment, the big attraction is the plums slowly ripening from green to mellow yellow.

It is difficult to spot a shy golden oriole, despite the male being bright yellow and black. Pretty standout, you would think, but not amongst the shadows of the green and yellow leaves. Ideal camouflage. He and his green wife [she looks rather like a green woodpecker] simply merge with the leaves. Last night they were in the fig tree, doubtless enjoying a feast of the last of this crop of figs out of our reach. So we sat back and enjoyed their fluting calls.
5 to remember
la oropéndola – golden oriole
la ladera – hillside
desplegando/a – spreading
local – local
la población – population