Friday, 21 November 2014

something different

No.. its not a blank photo.  Its our blue blue sky this morning.  After over 8 days or so of heavy rainfall and everything so muddy.. The sun is out and drying up some of our soggy ground. 
I took my camera and walked around the garden. Filipe has been trying to teach me (macro) techniques and close ups.  I just started looking for odd things.  I started with some flowers  .  Then walked to the other side of the pool to the garden side there .






             This is what i spied.  It was so so tiny, my eyes nearly missed it.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  I found it the most fascinating frog specie... long back legs.. and you can see the black stripe that goes up to his eyes.  
                                        He has a white under belly and his eyes were watching me. I moved very stealthily hoping he would hop away.


Isn't he just so beautiful.  I think its my photo of the year.

Experimenting with a different and better camera.  That i put up on my my book shelf for a while.. I am pleased with my progress.

Thanking all my dear blogging friends who left comments on my last blog.

looks like we are in for a sunny day.    Wishing you all a happy weekend.

Val.

If anyone knows the name of this frog.. I would love to know.   Off to google it now.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Updating

We have been having really heavy rain at the moment.  During a respite last week. I decided to go and check on my apartment in the Algarve.  I dont get to spend much time there, as I rent it out during the summer months.  It was enjoyable to be there again, and the weather stayed ok for a couple of days. 
Ate out at a couple of my favorite restaurants , and saying hello to old friends that are in the neighborhood.
Everything is closed up now for winter.  There are only a few permanent residents in the block. Mostly come for summer vacations.   I paid a visit to the British shop.  Spoilt myself with some goodies for christmas. 



                                All  the loungers are stacked and away for the season.


On saturday, we were able to prune more olive trees.   Also today pruned some more.  It rained for a while this morning, but then the sun came out, and Pedro was able to continue.    
                                       The horses were so happy in the sun.. and  i am treating them to rations for a while now, as its getting colder.. here they are eating away.  Eagerly guarding their ration.


           My wood pile is getting bigger.. I added some pepper branches to the pile this year..will be interesting to see how they burn.
Even though we have had heavy rains.. its not been all that cold, so as yet , I have not lit the wood burner.   . I have the oil heater on one bar, and thats been fine.
    It really was lovely to see the sun today, even though it was just for a few hours.  
The rain has started again and looks like we will have it for the rest of the week.

Thanks to all my dear friends who left their comments on my last post -  I was watching world news this morning.. and it seems not only Portugal have been hit by the olive fly,but Italy has been hit very badly.  Many farmers have lost their full crops.

Hoping that you are all having a good week.

Val

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

olive trees/pruning

This year the olives all dried up during the heat that we experienced in October.  So its no olives for me this year..hence no olive oil.   My olive trees are organic.. they are as they are. I do not use chemicals.  If I were to use chemicals, I might have had a better crop.  Never used it and never will.  Most years I am lucky. A few of the farmers around here, dont use chemicals.   very little fruit on the tree.

  What happens is;- a little tiny worm gets inside the olive  and they become contaminated.  They cannot be used for preserve or oil.

 My paths are full of fallen olives and their leaves.   They turn into pulp with all the rain,not a very pretty sight.
  When its olive picking time.. the trees leave a lot of leaves and twigs..  Something I have to put up with, as I do like them once they are pruned and the new leaves start to grow.
 We started pruning the pepper trees and the olive trees in the inside garden area.  Lots to clear up..
 i will get some wood out of the pruning.      

I will let you into a secret!   I don't like olives.  I use olive oil for all my cooking.. but I don't eat the olives.    When i have told some people, they say.. "What" and you grow so many olive trees. ! Ironical.


 looking better already.   Its rained since Monday.  So can only clear this up when it stops. Took these photo in between showers.





Wood pile from last year.. slowly we will be stacking it with the next pruning of the outside trees.

Its 19º here today..The rain has just stopped and there is a little sun peeping through the clouds.














I wish you you all a very good week.  Hope your weather is not so bad.

Thank you for your comments on my last post.  The Egrets have gone again.

Val

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Ibis

 I have seen this bird now hopping in and out the olive trees in my front garden.. I took this photo through my kitchen window.. At first I thought it was a sparrow.   It's habits- walking, hopping, and flying are different , plus the coloring.


                            Here it is again.   I think its the same one.    Because it was wagging its tail, I thought maybe it could be a wagtail!   Its a lovely little bird.   The photo below, is of the same bird.. but you can see the colors better. Seems to have a light yellow white face.

Egrets with the sheep
               The  egrets have returned again.   I took these photos of them walking amongst my neighbors sheep.  
It belongs to the family of Ardeidae- Herons

This specie is known more commonly as the "Cattle egret".
Native to - North America
Eurasia
Africa
Australia
South america.

Cattle egrets nest in large colonies with other wading birds.  They build nests anywhere that will support them.   They like to live near water.

Eggs are laidevery 2 days- The female does not become attentive to the nest until the last egg is laid.
The eggs are sky blue, turning lighter as time passes . Both sexes sit on the nest.


 Cattle egrets eat mostly insects, flies and ticks-picked directly from the skin of the cattle they live with.
They also eat small vertebrates, worms and eggs.

 Growing up in Africa.. we always knew them as the  "tick ibis"..  Since having our own animals, cattle horses and sheep.. I have wanted to find out more about them.  
They are actually a very beautiful bird.  
When one takes off in flight, all the rest follow.   A very "cosmopolitan" specie..

A little bit of nature for today's post.

Wishing you all a happy week

   VAL