WELCOME TO Val's Alentejo -I write about my region of Alentejo. My art ,painting, my cottages, Family life, my animals -Travels And my love for Roses- and rural country life.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Brown and green

Summer temperatures here in the Alentejo can reach well into the 40's.. Most of our days now the temperature is around 38 39º..  Year in year out, its always the same.   The fields are totally brown except for the olive trees and the trees around the pond at the bottom of my property. Yesterday morning , I took an early morning walk at 6.30 down to the pond..  From the cottages it looks so so green.     Leaving through my inner gate, took this picture of Olive cottage. I have the pepper trees and large verandah roof for the outside. Its shady there.
                              Walking down to the pond... you can see within a couple of months how totally brown the fields are.. I dont like to see it like this.  I suppose we cant have it all.  I do enjoy the long summer days. Time for long drinks ..at the moment its large glasses of ice cold sangria , with a sprig of mint and ice.. great at the end of the day.
                                   The sun is shining at 6 already in the morning . You can see the little gate next to the pink oleander tree.. its just green all around the pond.   The pond is fenced off .. This is because of the sheep . One sheep , two sheep and in they will go. !

                                 The conifers have grown so tall in the last 10 years.. The elm was swaying with the early morning breeze.  I have hundreds of elms now..baby ones , middle sized ones.. they seem to seed themselves.

                                    The pond.. Ducks sometimes rest here on their flight south..or north.. not sure where ducks fly too.  They dont stay here.!
                                  Green ivy all over .. Oleander trees , palm trees.. its just overgrowing. Just too much for me to keep up with now.  Its a beautiful little oasis.. the dogs love to roam around inside.  It was so so quiet. Just me the dogs , nature and my camera.
                                  Another view outside the fence.
               My main reason for going down to my little pond , was to see how my grapes are fairing.. and i am thrilled.. there are quite a few bunches this year, they thrived on all the rain we had.
                                    Healthy and will be ready in a couple of months.. Such excitement to see the grapes growing. The vine is over 50 years old.  I never touch it. Some years I have none and others a few..but this year there are lots.  

Hope you are all having good weather wherever you are!  

I was glued to the tv. yesterday afternoon, waiting for news of the new baby.   The prince of Cambridge.. we now have to wait for his name.

Happy days everyone.

val

42 comments:

  1. What a lovely post, Val. I love seeing your beautiful country, please post more pictures.

    hugs, Sylvia

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    1. Thank you Sylvia.. I am pleased you like my place and the area. Its so hot at the moment.. I want to get around to taking photos ofthe village.

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  2. Your landscape is so exotic to me, with olive and oleander. The grapes will be wonderful to harvest. What will you do with them? Your day started in much the same way mine does, when I'm at home. Rory and I take a walk around the ponds - taking stock, getting a feel for the weather and what the day will be like.

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    1. Thank you Pondside for your comments.
      I only have a few grapes.. hoping the birds dont eat too many..they will be for the table.
      It is so great to walk around early in the morning.. I did the same today..but came inand fell asleep.

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  3. Hi Val. Such beautiful pictures! We have had very hot weather also. Long drinks sound nice. Our grapes are doing very well this year too. I am excited. Last year there was only one small basket. This year there will be a lot more! What do you do with yours? Last year was our first year to have any and Mike gave them all to me to make juice. He makes wine each year which is why he planted grapes, but he has been buying juice from a neighbor for that because we didn't have enough. He said I could have them again this year too.

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    1. I only have the one big vine Lisa.. but this year its full of grapes.
      They are just to eat. That is a good idea..maybe i will make grape juice.
      nice to see you Lisa.

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  4. we get a lot of summer brown-out here in texas due to the high heat and drought. you still have a lot of blooms there. :)

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    1. I saw a quick view of Austin yesterday.. it was some documentary.. and the fields were like ours.
      I have a lot of blooms, because its a pond and i have water.. but the open fields are brown.

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  5. The pond and the area is a little exotic. If i had the money.. i would make it into a little fairy land hideout or something..
    Yes, i am finding walking early in the morning is so refreshing. I then come back and have my tea. Thats what I do.. take stock and see this and see that. There are some things I dont want to see..as I think..Ohh that must get fixed or that..and money is always involved.
    The grape vine is not a big one.. the grapes are only for the table.
    I have enough harvesting the olives.. ):-
    Thanks for coming over Pondside, and leaving your kind comments.

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  6. Oh Val, it looks so dry...we have been lucky to have a few rain showers the last three weeks. It is almost unheard of in July for us. It has brought a fresh growth of green. But, the temperaturs will be back in the 100's later this week. It is truly the "Dog Days of Summer"

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    1. Hi Meggie,
      It is dry..but i keep my inner garden watered every 3 days.. i have to be careful with the water..as i have a sunken well and cant use it all up.
      Wow..a couple of showers, wouldnt go amiss here.
      You get the same temp as we do. I see it on the global weather news.
      enjoy the warmth as much as you can.. shade and long drinks.xx

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  7. Oh Val, just to be able to wander down to a quiet retreat sounds wonderful. It would take me all of two minutes to walk round my tiny postage stamp of a garden. Or I could walk around the block of our built up neighbourhood. You are so lucky having all that land and those beautiful trees and vines. I'm on a mission to talk John into moving to a more rural area when he finally retires, especially after we came back from our friends' lovely property in France. Dreaming again...
    Have a good week
    Patricia x

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    1. I do enjoy going down to my pond.. and have nowbeen thinking , i should just clear the entrance to it a little .. I dont have a big garden Patricia.. i have my inner garden that is fenced off due to the horses and if the sheep come.. and the pond is way down the bottom of the land.
      Only have the one big vine..but am lucky lots of grapes this year.
      I can understand how you feel. Its such a different life in the country.
      your friends house looks a dream..
      nice to see you Patricia.. thanks for coming over

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  8. A lovely summer paradise. Looks so restful and serene. Those grapes look fantastic and I can imagine how delicious they will taste. Hope you have a wonderful week, Val.

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    1. It is a lovely place Sanda.. but i need so much money for its upkeep. Its just wild now.
      thanks for your comments..

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  9. What a lovely blog. Love Alentejo! My mom has a home there, we always have so much fun when we go. :)
    Beautiful photos!
    Beijinhos de Toronto:)
    http://claudiapersi.blogspot.ca/

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    1. Thank you Claudia..
      very nice to hear from you..
      Alentejo is special.

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  10. Dear Val,what a beautiful post!!!
    You live in a very lovely country!!!Fantastic landscapes!
    In the area i live ,its full of vineyards!!!And every day i watch how the grapes are groing!Enjoy your Summer!!!
    Have a nice week!!!
    Dimi...

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    1. Thank you Dimi..
      I do live in a lovely country as do you.. I love where you live.
      We also have vinyards around this area.. mine is just one big old vine..
      happy week to you

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  11. Wonderful tour--I really enjoyed it. Reminds me a bit of where I lived in California. No rain in the summer and all the hill turned brown. There were olive trees too--that must be their climate.

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    1. Thank you Jen.
      Yes, its just the same here. The olive trees are always green.
      didnt know they grew olives in california..
      xx

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  12. How fantastic to have those huge bunches of grapes growing there just for you, Val. The pond looks quite a magical place. Your property has so many appealing features. You first two photos look very like an Australian summer, grass all brown and pepper trees - I would feel quite at home there! xx

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    1. It is rather an exciting feeling Patricia.. The old grape vine has been there forever.
      the pond needs some clearing..but it costs ..and workers wages are high.
      so i leave it wild.
      yes, indeed its like an Australian summer. I know that from living in Fremantle.
      The pepper trees and the olives are green and the lovely trees near the pond.
      thanks for your kind comments patricia.. xx

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  13. Hello Val I am having lots of trouble trying to follow your blog I shall keep trying
    Thea xx

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    1. I am sorry about that Thea.. i miss your comments.
      i had a lot of blogging problems..
      you will have to sign in again to my blog.. http://valrietilsten59.blogspot.com
      val's alentejo.
      Hope to see more of you.. thanks Thea..xxx

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  14. Hi Val,
    Thank you for taking us on your beautiful and peaceful morning walk. Our landscape over the past few weeks has changed from green to yellow too. Your grapes look so good too, we used to have some in growing in the greenhouse when we had the walled garden. They were very sour and only good for wine.
    Sarah x

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    1. I was out again this morning Sarah.. But i came back in..had a cup of tea and fell asleep on the sofa. I dont have many grapes..its one big old vine.. but i am pleased with how many i have this year.
      The fields are actually so brown now.. not very nice to walk on the dry grass.

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  15. I love to see this, Val! To me it is the incarnation of summer! One can feel the dry, the hot, the sun... it is also very warm here - but the atmosphere is different. Unfortunately no summer holidays for me abroad this year and I am pleased that you took me around - summer holiday feelings are in me now! So nice to hear from you again! xxxx Christa

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    1. Hello dear Christa.
      Yes summer is a funny old month.. hot, lots of sun..dry.. but like you say.. warm.
      glad you enjoyed my meander. Its only at the bottom of the land.
      Its all so so brown. x x

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  16. Dear Val , your property is lovely ! I like the natural way that they grow up all the trees and plants !It is a real garden !I hope that the weather will be a little colder ! Here is only 35 ....I hate this ....We were at hometown for a week and we were slipping with blankets !!!

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    1. Hello dear Olympia..
      Yes, i do have a nice piece of land.. but its so so dry and brown in the summer.
      My garden i try to keep up with. Our weather has been wonderful..around 38 that is good.
      Enjoy the country.. take lots of photos ..regards to all the family.
      xxxx

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  17. Hi Val, the Captain was reading over my shoulder! Says to tell you what a beautiful place you live in. My sentiments also. We have been excited about the new prince. Now we know it is George. Wonder if they will call him Georgie and if the other children would do what they would do here to someone named Georgie.."Georgie, Porgie, Puddin, Pie..Kissed the girls and made them cry'.. He would get sick of hearing that before he was grown!..Happy Thursday..Judy

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    1. Thank you Judy.. yes, tell the Captain it is a lovely place here..very very dry and brown in the summer.
      I am pleased about the new Prince.. and I was really happy to see dad..Prince William put him in the car and drive away himself.. that is great.
      Dont think he will get called names.. doubt it.. but yet who knows.
      Nice to see you Judy.
      happy week
      valxx

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  18. What lovely grapes you have!
    Nice to see you at my place this evening!
    How can you take such hot temperatures? Do you have air conditioning? We are all melting here with temperatures reaching 32-34C which is very high for here! I am so looking forward to the month of September!
    In the meantime, you will have heard that the little prince is called George, Alexander Louis!

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    1. Hello Sandra,
      I am happy with the grapes this year..not often i have seen so many.
      I'ts amazing..but one gets used to the heat. coming fromAfrica its pretty much the same ..although here it gets very very hot. I have a pool.. and lots of shade.and yes i do have aircon..but i like to experience the heat now and again.
      September is a lovely month.
      Yes..i watch sky news.. I had said to some friends.. that he would be called Albert or George.. so I wasnt to wrong. I wish them all the best.
      Thanks for coming over..
      see you soon
      val

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  19. How very dreamy, Val. Must be so exciting to walk that ground, and to see those beautiful grapes. Sangria sounds perfect to me right about now.
    Prince George has been introduced and like you, I could not be happier to see his father drive the car himself AND that he did not walk out carrying the baby when they first came out but instead Kate did. Wish Diana was here. She'd be a proud grandmother and a prouder mother.
    xoxo's

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    1. You are the Romantic Marcia.):- today i didnt walk.. its just too hot.
      Yes, was so nice to see Prince William and Kate so natural.. I thought she looked amazing.

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  20. Those grapes look absolutely yummy, how lucky to have them growing like that along with those olive trees! x

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    1. Yes they do look so lovely hanging from the vine.. i just hope the birds dont eat them first.. i will have to go down there again next week ..keep my eye on them.
      Thank you Suzy.

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  21. Val,
    I can't believe how much area you have on your countryside. It all looks so beautiful to me. Everytime I see pictures of it, I want to live in the country. I love the grapes, and how special that the vine is over 50 years old.

    I haven't really kept up with William and Kate, but I always kept up with the happenings of sweet Diana, as we were married and had kids around the same time.

    Have a peaceful weekend, Val.

    Love,
    ~Sheri

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    1. Thank you Sheri, for our comments...
      I do live pretty much in the middle of nowhere..although not too far from ,my local village.
      I have to keep a watch on the grapes due to the naughty birds.
      Poor Diana.. she is remembered by us all.
      xx

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  22. Your grapes look wonderful, val, but I can't imagine how grazing animals like horses and cows manage when the grass is so brown and shrivelled. Here the recent heatwave was starting to make the grass go brown, but the last two days of thunderstorms have made everything green again. :-)

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