The sun has been making an effort to come out, although there are still heavy showers. It is surprisingly warm for the time of year.
The countryside is looking so pretty now that the almond trees are in full blossom and everything is so green. The olive groves, with the trees planted in orderly rows, make patchwork patterns on the landscape. I love watching the play of light and shadow on the hills.
With the advancement of spring, the birdsong gets richer every day. It’s always a thrill to see a new species for the first time, so I was delighted to see a flock of azure-winged magpies coming home to roost in our poplar trees alongside the river. They are striking birds,smaller and more elegant than the more familiar, black and white magpies. Their wings and tails are azure blue and the adults have distinctive black caps.
Because of the persistent rains, there have been very few butterflies or bees about. It’s not good weather for beekeepers. Orchids, on the other hand, flourish in these conditions and already the bee orchids are flowering along the stony banks and rocky ground which hasn’t been cultivated. This afternoon I picked up some almonds which have started to sprout and I shall plant them individually in pots.
The exceptionally heavy rains have eroded soil and caused the loss of a number of trees planted above steep banks. It is startling to see a mature olive trees being swept downriver at great speed. The terrapins which inhabit the sandy banks have a hard time battling against such a force of water.
The photo is of our neighbour’s mare Bandida grazing amongst our almonds. She is due to give birth any day to her first foal.