Après le deluge

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The stream in the valley two weeks ago
stream-11-feb
The same place in the stream today

The donkeys and I have spent a great deal of time recovering from the storms, and cleaning up.  The fields are finally drying out.  We didn’t have anything like the problems of Central Italy, of course, and please contribute to the emergency relief fund for stranded donkeys there (see previous blog post.)

It has been a time of taking stock, and after the severe weather there are now early signs of spring.  The almond blossom is on the trees and there is the returning chatter of birds in the trees.  I went down to the valley yesterday – taking a wide detour to avoid the landslide on my path down to the valley fields – and I found some pleasant surprises.

oranges
The oranges are nearly ripe and there is a tall almond tree I hadn’t noticed before.
almond-trees
The small almond trees have survived
lemons
There are lemons.  Not many, but they are my lemons !
landslide
The landslide is drying out, so I carefully picked my way home avoiding the deeper areas which are still dangerous.

It is quite exciting now, as spring begins and I wait to see all the plants and trees begin the new season: my first spring here.

poo-gate

Today the new Poo Gate came into use.  I have been waiting for the concrete to set since last week, as it has been a bit damp still.  The small gate has been put into a gap cut into the perimeter fence: just enough space to pass the buckets full of donkey manure through and line them up against the side of the road, so I can drive them half a kilometre down the road to the farm that takes as much manure as I want to get rid of!   Today I took the first load down to the farm.  What used to take me half an hour, pushing barrows uphill to where the car was parked outside the house, is now a 10-minute job with minimal effort.

beans

What manure remains here goes onto my kitchen garden, and I enjoyed some lovely broad beans for lunch today.  The donkeys had the shells: well, three donkeys did…  Aitana kept her usual aloof distance from all that emerges from my kitchen.  So we have a healthy farming cycle: donkey manure helps the beans grow; I eat them and the donkeys eat the shells.

donks-eating-bean-shells
Donks eating bean shells while Aitana pretends to keep guard against wild boar.

My daughter Alys, looking at the photo noticed how small Rubí is, compared with Morris and Matilde.  She is in the middle in the photo.  I really hadn’t noticed before but it is quite right.  Morris is getting much bigger and Matilde is still growing.  Rubí seems to have reached her full size.


6 thoughts on “Après le deluge

    1. It is quite early for blossom and it is good to see it but I am concerned that we have not yet seen the last of the bad weather. March can bring very high winds here. It is quite wonderful as spring starts in this new setting: I have no idea what to expect, as the plants and trees begin to develop in spring.

      Having so many trees on the upper levels that needed urgent attention in the drought, I really did not have enough time to spend on saving trees in the valley, but they seem to have survived reasonably well as it is cooler down there in the summer months.

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  1. Ah, the land of perpetual summer. Today I am enjoying sunshine in Galicia (no, that is not a typo) The Ingles would be a good Camino to walk with a donkey. Lots of grass, plenty of small pastures, and pilgrim friendly.
    I expect it will rain tomorrow….

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    1. Ah yes, I forgot you were doing the Camino Inglés. If you haven’t already passed it, as you enter PONTEDEUME after crossing bridge there is a small chapel of the Cofradia de Pescadores. You can get your pilgrim credenciál stamped there. After that Betanzos is a jewel. The church is worth an overnight stop to look at the medieval sculpture and tombs of kings and knights.

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