Tag Archives: weather

The Levant is blowing

Hot dry air parches the ground. But the olive farmers don’t mind as it kills the surface weeds and leaves moisture deep down for the roots of their trees, now heavy with flowers. It is the Levante or Levanter wind which blows from the east across the Mediterranean from May to October.

The origin of the Levante name is the same as the origin of the Levant, the region of the eastern Mediterranean. It is the Middle French word ‘levant’, the participle of lever ‘to raise’ — in Spanish levantar meaning to raise up, lift up, build, get up and levantarse meaning to get up in the morning. Both French and Spanish come from the Latin ‘levare’ and refers to the eastern direction of the rising sun. The opposite of the Levante wind is the Poniente which comes from the west, the term originates from the Spanish verb ponerse meaning to lay down, put down. In other words, the setting of the sun in the west.

5 to remember
el origen de – the origin of
la región – the region
la dirección este – the eastern direction
se origina de – originates from
significa que – meaning to

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
The Levante wind is blowing in #Spain via @Spanish_Valley http://wp.me/p3dYp6-26r

Fifty Shades of Blue #25

Blue sky, wispy mackerel clouds. April 19, 2015

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Blue sky, wispy mackerel clouds #Weather in #Spain via @Spanish_Valley http://wp.me/p3dYp6-2bg

A giant’s sigh

Early one morning, the valley was veiled in a cap of mist so dense we couldn’t see the hilltops. It was like a giant had breathed out, they way you can see your breath on a frosty winter’s day. Except this was in April and warm, below the mist the green of the leaves was clearly visible. Two hours later came the first touch of breeze and the mist started to drift away, revealing one-by-one the outlines of individual trees. The sky became its usual springtime blue again.

5 to remember
un gigante – a giant
un suspiro – a sigh
velado/a – veiled
una tapa – a cap
tan densa – so dense

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
A giant’s sigh: morning mist in the #secretvalley in #Spain via @Spanish_Valley http://wp.me/p3dYp6-1QG

A day of two halves

Some days we can have had all kinds of weather in one day. In the morning, strong February sunshine coupled with a breeze to dry the earth after last night’s shower. We don’t complain at the overnight rain, it is welcome rain for the farmers. Driving through the olive grove, half a dozen pied wagtails bounced ahead of me, scattering and re-forming in their group as if waiting for me to reach them before bouncing ahead again up the track. Why don’t they scatter to the side, between the trees, where I will not follow? hail1 27-2-16Then the afternoon. First the odd white cloud, then grey clouds, then dark grey clouds, more wind and a distant rumble of thunder. Dark enough to make us turn on the lights inside the house. Then the hail arrived, only the second time I have seen hail here. Hailstones as big as sultanas, bouncing off the terrace, sinking into the water of the pool, nestling into the folds of potted aloe vera.

After ten minutes of hail, the valley looks as if it has been dusted with snow and the sky is as dark as night. There is a breather between the first and second hailstorms, then the clouds pass and the sun re-appears. For a while, the valley has a split personality: dark at one end, sunny at the other. Half an hour later it is as if it never happened, 90% of the hail has melted. Just the odd white sultana remains, nestled in a cold corner; evidence of the multiple personalities of today’s weather. That evening, the sunset was the colour of Seville oranges.

5 to remember
todo tipo de – all kinds of
excepto – except
media docena – half a dozen
un estruendo – a rumble
el granizo – the hailstones

A tormenta in June

We were woken at 2am by the thunder. We had been warned, AEMET had been predicting rain. Like all rain in a Spanish summer, it comes in fits and starts. Grey skies then blue, white fluffy clouds, so pretty you can’t imagine it raining again. Then an hour later, more rain, more thunder. It pounds down, bouncing off the dry earth, scattering dirty droplets of water on walls and paths, forcing geraniums to weep their petals like red confetti. red confetti 1-6-14We stand on the terrace and look left… sky, grey 1-6-14… and right… sky, blue 1-6-14Is that the end of it, or will another downpour creep up on us? Plant saucers overflow… plant saucers, overflowing 1-6-14… a sprinkling of raindrops sit as evidence of the storm, though now the skies are clear… raindrops on geranium 1-6-14… on honeysuckle… raindrops on honeysuckle flower 1-6-14… on palm leaf… raindrops on palm leaf 1-6-14… as the sun re-emerges, the wet terrace steams, the puddles shrink… rosemary reflection 1-6-14… and the lizards re-appear from their hiding places behind plant pots, in the rose bush, deep in the tangle of honeysuckle and ivy, from inside the metal pergola supports… raindrops on honeysuckle leaf 1-6-145 to remember
a los tropezones – in fits and starts
no se puede imaginar – you can’t imagine
[algo] apporea – [something] pounds down
unas gotitas – some droplets
el confeti – the confetti