Riders in the Valley

Riders passing the old castle in El Valle de Rodalquilar

Riders passing the old castle in El Valle de Rodalquilar

After a windy week when the light has been obscured by dust from the Sahara we have enjoyed a couple of mild, soft days. They have been sunny and warm but the light has been muted due to the humidity.

Riders in the valley

Riders in the valley

Ideal weather for walking and riding in the campo and these two on horseback passed us this morning as we walked from the old castle down to El Playazo in El Valle de Rodalquilar.

Riding to the beach

A perfect morning for riding and walking

There are new riding stables on the outskirts of Rodalquilar, where these two must have come from, and to see people on horseback enjoying the Parque Natural is now a common sight. Sometimes in the mornings we have seen groups on horseback riding up the ramblas of Las Negras.

Palm trees om the spring

Palm trees om the spring

After the winter rains and because of the extra humidity the countryside is still lush and green. The photo above illustrates this well showing the Bermuda buttercups and green grasses below the palm trees of El Valle.

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Wild Flowers Around Las Negras

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Asphodels in the hills

Here are some photos and descriptions of the beautiful wild flowers we have seen on our walks during the last week. Because of the wetter-than-normal winter, the hills and ramblas around our village are covered with flowers, some common but others quite unusual.

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Asphodels

Last year, after a dry winter, the asphodels did not do well, but this spring they have flourished and cover the mountainsides, their tall spikes and white flowers set against the blue sky.

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Spurgula Fallax

On the hills beyond our house this tiny white flower, Spurgula fallax is abundant.

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Spurgula fallax

It is a wild plant that is often overlooked because it is so small but this spring it is flowering in profusion, despite its rarity.

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Dipcadi

Above is a photo of a lovely example of a dipcadi. It looks similar to a bluebell but has brown flowers.

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Helianthemum

Helianthemum, which is found all over the Cabo de Gata, is in abundance.

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Bermuda buttercups along the rambla 

Banks of bright yellow bermuda buttercups line the sides of the ramblas.

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A rare daisy

This flower may look like a common daisy but is quite rare.

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Another rare, wild flower

This little yellow flower, a type of lily, resembles the celandine and appears in early spring in damper places.

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Calendulas

More common are these orange calendulas but they look very attractive flowering in between the stones.

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Flowers in a barranco

The densest accumulations of plants are in the narrow barrancos where the water on the rocky hillsides cascades during the rains.

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Viper’s bugloss

This viper’s bugloss is ubiquitous but is very pretty and makes a contrast to the yellow and whites of the other flowers.

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Linaria

This yellow linaria is rare and found in just a couple of locations here.

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Puppy Update

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At the bar

Daisy’s puppies are almost 5 weeks old. They are eating solid food now although they still pester their mother at her milk bar.

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On the terrace. Left to right Betty, Dotty, Pixie and Bobby

They are also active, playful and, under supervision, can enjoy some of the warm sunshine in the garden.

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Betty and Pixie

We are now considering new homes for them but are going to be very choosy as they are such funny and sweet little dogs, super examples of their breed and we will miss them.

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Little Pixie

These photos were taken yesterday. You can scroll down to earlier blogs to see how they have developed over the last month.

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Bobby, Dotty, Pixie and Betty

Enquiries regarding the puppies please email digmerry@gmail.com or phone 667848529

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Puppy update – Three weeks old

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Pixie and Daisy

Daisy’s puppies are now three weeks old.

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All asleep

Here are some photos taken yesterday evening and outside this morning.

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First look outside

They have started to walk about and have just had their first look at the garden.

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Four fat puppies

All four are fat and thriving.

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Bobby

Here is the only male, Bobby.

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Ojos Abiertos

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Daisy and her puppies

Daisy’s puppies are two weeks old today and their little eyes have just opened. They will not be able to see very well or hear for a few days yet but, as you can see from the photos, they are thriving. Compare them with last weeks photos.

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Pixie

Here is Pixie.

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Dotty

Dotty has a black scull cap.

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Bobby

Bobby is the only male.

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Betty

Big Betty is the largest and the alpha female.

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Old Olives in the Valley

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Rodalquilar from the path

Yesterday we went for a walk along El Valley de Rodalquilar following a track the other side of the main road. Looking back there are good views of Rodalquilar, the old gold mine workings and the mountains behind.

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Ancient olive trees

This track passes through a grove of ancient olive trees.

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Sunlight and shadows

Their gnarled shapes provided some dramatic images with the low, winter sun casting its long shadows in the afternoon.

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Winter sunshine

It was a beautiful, sunny day and we have the same today unlike much of Spain which is suffering from  severe weather. Colder weather is due to reach us in the week though.

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Old Noria

Also along the walk we passed this old noria, waterwheel. It is similar to the one behind El Playazo ,which has been restored, but this one is in ruins.

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One week old today

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Daisy and her pups

Daisy’s puppies are one week old today and are thriving. They have more than doubled their birth weight. We have given them provisional names – from left to right in the photo above – Pixie, Dotty, Betty and Bobby.

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Betty at the bar

Although their eyes are still closed they know their way to the milk bar. Betty is the largest and greediest.

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Bobby taking time out

The only male, Bobby is the smallest.

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Four feeding together

Left to right – Betty, Booby, Pixie and Dotty.

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Pixie

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Dotty

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Bobby and Dotty

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Pixie and Bobby

Enjoy the photos. They are quite cute.

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