Showing posts from June, 2013

Re-use, Recycle, The Possibilities are....

Endless?  Perhaps they are but I am for the moment a bit stumped.

This is, or I should say was, a Venetian blind.  Fergus decided he didn't like being left on his own in the house  and made his feelings quite plain. We only left him for half an hour while we did some work down at the gate.  It was too hot for the dog and there is no shade there for him.  This manifestation of his chagrin is just the tip of the ice berg and this kind of behaviour quite out of character for our pooch.  It would seem that our move to Spain and Finca-Life in general is, as yet, too strange for little Fergus.

Along with a taste for chewing Venetian blinds, he is manifesting other symptoms of stress and anxiety and this, according to the vet is the source of his recent bouts of squits.  Since he is a true friend and member of the family we are trying to address the issues as best we can with a steady routine and a calm environment.  But more about Fergus another day, for the moment I am trying to turn …

Hot Stuff!

Temperatures have started creeping up here in Spain.  Our temperature guage is on the veranda in the shade.  Last night at just after midnight it read 31C.  Our bedroom is upstairs and even with the window open it was simply too hot so we made make-shift beds downstairs... in our cramped sitting-come-kitchen.  It was not entirely successful.  Mind you it would have been better if the dog hadn't needed out for the loo every five minutes... he sleeps most of the day and so is quite perky during the night when it is supposed to be cooler.

Of course we do have the air conditioning but we are very reluctant to use it, it isn't especially ecologically friendly and as we are still on mains electricity it is costly to run.  Actually that is probably the most immediate consideration... the cost.  We are on a fixed budget and you have to cut your cloth to suit your purse.

To cope with the heat our daily routine is very different from what it was in the UK.  We try to get up early, mind y…

The Beauty Within

Some of the olive trees on the finca need a bit of attention.  Traditionally at this time of year you start cutting back the suckers that grow from the base of the tree.  They are unnecessary, they get in the way of the nets when harvesting and they don't grow any olives so they have to go.

Most of the trees have been fairly regularly pruned and looked after but there are a few that have been left for several years by the look of the growth.  This isn't the time of year for pruning but we just felt that we had to try and sort them out while we can... We have started on the ones that have their trunks totally obscured first.

 Unfortunately it didn't occur to me to take a photograph until I was half way round the tree, but suffice to say that the entire trunk was obscured by branches.  And somewhere in amongst it is this beautiful olive... and an old one at that.

One little moment of shock and horror when I discovered this in among the branches I had just chopped off!


We have Babies on the finca!

There is nothing like babies to make you feel all soft and gooey inside.

I must confess - this photograph came off the internet.  Our camera shy pair just won't stand still!
For the last couple of weeks we had hardly seen the brightly coloured bee eaters on the finca.  We began to think that they had abandoned the nest.  They build their nests in the sandy banks of rivers and ravines and they look for all the world like small rabbit holes.  When we first found the nest we didn't realise that it was a bird's nest and not a rodent of some kind.

Apparently they can nest in colonies but we only have the one pair... but then our little ravine is barely more than a gulley where the water runs off when it rains.  We haven't been able to see inside and we wouldn't want to disturb the new parents so we don't know how many little ones they are feeding - quite a few hungry mouths I suspect.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, three days ago we spotted a great deal of to-in…

The Yurt Approaches!

We picked a spot for our yurt which is due to arrive in about 4 weeks.  However the best spot is already occupied by a very rickety garden shed.

It looked like one good gust of wind would see it over.  So we decided to demolish it.  Shouldn't be too hard.  First we had to evict the sitting tenants.  Five gecko's were encouraged to move out.  They didn't want to go bless them.

A little brown mouse rushed out the door into the bushes - too fast for us to photograph.  The wasp was another reluctant evictee but I didn't feel sorry for him.

Next we had to remove all the screws. There were hundreds and it took us ages.  And just a little note here, it looks like Steve was working on his own but that is not the case... I did my share but someone had to take the photographs.

Then one good push...

It rocked precariously but would it fall down?  No it wouldn't!!  Here Steve is inspecting it to find out which screw we missed.  

And another good push....

And it still wouldn…

The Water Meadow

The soil on the finca is generally poor.  Very sandy, liable to washing away at the first hint of rain and during the hot months it dries hard like cement making digging completely impossible.  Not boding well for gardening.  Between our house and surrounding 2 acre garden and the campsite area is the water meadow.

We first saw it in February after the wettest winter Spain has had since 1947 and it was boggy to say the least.  The ground slopes down towards a stream that runs the length of the bottom of the field.  There are a few large boulders in the field and an ancient well.

We hadn't actually walked the water meadow until just last week when Jose brought the bath for the sheep.

The old well, it's age could be anything from 50 years to 500, overflows during the wet season and as the levels drop filling the trough so the sheep can drink is important.  The old stone trough is a bit small and Jose brought along a bath which he filled in the traditional way.  The well has a c…

Alien Invasion!

Take a look at this little critter.

It looks like a furry bee with a long nose, except it hums at a higher pitch than a bee and it's movements were erratic and it stops totally still in mid air before darting off in another direction really fast.  I'd never seen one before.  Hubby ran back to the house to get his camera.

The bee hovered obligingly for the photograph (sorry if its a bit blurry but the wings on this thing go so fast they are practically invisible it took several photo's to get one in focus).  In fact it hovered so well that I began to muse that it had an anti-gravity device.  Well one thing led to another and my vivid imagination turned it into a tiny alien spacecraft full of little aliens come from afar to study us.

Actually it truly did start to follow me.  Everywhere I went there was this furry creature hovering close by.  Well perhaps there were some tiny aliens inside and they were on to me... they knew I knew.  If you see what I mean.

Finally I had t…

Grass Seeds

Still on the subject of grass.  I know, grass seems to be such a small topic, at least it did in the UK. Here it is a major issue.  We have had over the last month, a lot of grass seed flying around.  Different types of grasses produce different types of seeds and all of them seem to find their way into Fergus's coat.  Every couple of steps he would have to stop to try and bite out another annoyingly sharp grass projectile that has been picked up inadvertently.

For this reason we had him cut quite short.  Although it was a bit of shock I can tell you... I had no idea I had such a skinny dog.

To show you the kind of thing I am talking about... take a look at these...

Shown here with a one euro coin so you can get some idea of scale.  Pretty impressive really.  They look almost man made but nope, this is Mother Nature at her best.  The corkscrew is designed to screw the seed into the ground powered by the wind blowing the top part of the seed.  And they are amazingly good.  They cer…