Tag Archives: photography

September in the valley

The dead tree looks no different, really, in September than it does in June or July. Except for the lack of something: it is the favourite resting post of bee-eaters. But they have left now for Africa and we miss their swooping presence, the flash of blue and bronze, their song.  Although the bee-eaters may have sensed the approach of autumn, for us September is summer. At the beginning of the month, daytime temperatures rise to around 32°C, falling overnight to 18°C. As October approaches, the daytime heat is more likely to be 26°C. Nine hours of sunshine a day. No rain. Skies are clear, though towards the end of the month we may start to see a few clouds. September is my favourite month.

5 to remember
la falta de algo – the lack of something
el poste de descanso – the resting post
abalanzando – swooping
la presencia – the presence
el flash de – the flash of

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
The tree without the bee-eaters: September in the #secretvalley #Spain via @Spanish_Valley http://wp.me/p3dYp6-28f

A sliver of sun

Sunrise in the valley in July comes in stages. First the direct sunlight hits the village, out of our sight. We first see it on very tops of the hills opposite, where it lights the scrubland as if with a spotlight. The effect of light and shadow on the colour green is dramatic, gradually the yellow-green version of the valley reduces the blue-green shadowy valley to nought.

5 to remember
en etapas – in stages
el matorral – the scrubland
como si – as if
un foco – a spotlight
a la nada – to nought

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Direct sunlight inches into the #hiddenvalley A summer sunrise in #Spain http://wp.me/p3dYp6-1Fy via @Spanish_Valley

Dead canes, green leaves

In winter, the paths along the valley are surrounded by winter nature: crunchy brown leaves underfoot, puddles, mud, black almonds hang on the tree forgotten by last year’s harvest, silvery fig branches reach for the weak sun, and everywhere there are grey, faded seedheads bleached white, silvered twigs and stalks leftover from last summer’s plants.

Now, April, things really start to change. New growth bursts forth amongst the old stuff, green and black, green and silver, green and grey. Nowhere is this more obvious than the stand of canes which lines the riverbank. The plumes have over-wintered and are pale golden, almost pewter against the bright green growth of the trees behind: mostly poplar, which love the damp soil beside the river.

5 to remember
un charco – a puddle
plateado/a – silvery
blanqueado/a – bleached
sobrante – left over
un penacho – a plume

Spring leaves

No matter how long I live in this valley, I will always getting a kick out if seeing the new leaves unfold each spring. The tightly-wound bud, the first hint of green which broadens into a broad line of freshness, and then the leaves, uncurling as if after a winter’s sleep, stretching, unfolding, reaching to the light.

5 to remember
independientemente – no matter
cuántó duro – how long
abririse – to unfold
la pista – the hint [clue]
una línea ancha – a broad line