“HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL…”*

as early signs of spring offer a little hope…

Despite some recent inclement weather, including frost and even a dusting of snow, the Axarquia is showing early signs of Spring. The pictures here, all taken over the past week, on and around our finca (small holding) in the foothills of the Sierra Tajeda remind us of nature’s imperviousness to the current dystopia we find ourselves condemned to inhabit for the foreseeable future.

Sometimes, pictures (even enhanced iPhone snaps) are far more eloquent than mere words…

Our hilltop finca, looking south west…
(Looking west) An almond tree, already in leaf
Marcona (almond) blossom…
(Looking north-east) Our local pueblo, Canillas de Aceituno, sitting beneath Mount Maroma and the Sierra Tajeda, from our house…
(Looking north-west) The pueblo of Periana and the Alfarnate countryside…
(Looking south-east) across our “main road” toward Arenas…
(Looking south-west) From our south vineyard, a neighbouring cottage and the Rio Velez valley beyond…
Fresh orange juice every morning, assured…
(Looking east-by-south east) But it’s the almonds stealing the show…
“Shepherd’s delight”? Here’s hoping…!

* From Alexander Pope (An Essay on Man – 1734)

7 thoughts on ““HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL…”*

  1. Our weather forecasters predict heavy snow Monday and Tuesday. It is nice to have this reminder that spring will come, just a little later than in Spain.
    The almonds are beautiful. I have seen the trees in California but never in the spring.
    Do you keep your grape vines close to the ground rather than strung on fences? Are the vines shaped to make circles like baskets? I only saw that once in Santorini.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, our vines kept low, but not shaped as such. The ideal vine down here has three to five main growing points and resembles a withered hand reaching out of the soil in winter. Mainly, this is to make use of less water – they aren’t irrigated (in common with the almonds). In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a staked vine anywhere south of Madrid. Even the majority of the commercial vineyards in La Mancha and Valdepenas are cut low. By complete contrast, the vines of central and northern Italy are all staked high – apparently to stop the wild boar (who can’t climb or crane their necks significantly) eating them. The boar are free to roam in Italy, as they are here, but we are allowed to fence our land, unlike the Italian wine growers. We put up our fence the same time we planted our second vineyard, to keep out the boar, and the

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, virtually all vines are staked north of the Mediterranean rim. I have seen un-staked vines in the southern Rhone region of France, but this is unusual. I only mentioned northern Italy because of the unusual height of the wires and the boar. Because of our own boar issues here, that always interested me.

      Liked by 1 person

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