Cortijo del Fraile

Almond blossom and Cortijo del Montano

Almond blossom and Cortijo del Montano

This morning we walked along the track from Cortijo de Montano to Ermita del Fraile and back ….

Approaching Cortijo del Fraile with the Ermita in the distance

Approaching Cortijo del Fraile with the Ermita in the distance

….. passing through the most intensively farmed land in the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata, the Cortijo del Fraile

Rows of lettuce in front of the Ermita

Rows of lettuce in front of the Ermita

Plastic greenhouses are not permitted in the Parque Natural, so vegetables and salad crops are grown here in the traditional way although plastic sheets  cover the ridges of soil in which the seedlings are planted.

Preparing the fields

Preparing the fields

This is labour-intensive and immigrant labourers, mainly Moroccans, work in the fields. Although unemployment in Andalucia is over 30%, it is much cheaper, and more flexible, to employ immigrants. Fields in which brocolli had recently been harvested were being prepared for a new crop.

Salad through an olive tree

Salad through an olive tree

Other fields contained colourful rows of salad crops and ….

Ermita del Fraile

Ermita del Fraile

…. in the background the ruins of the old ermita still stand waiting for renovation.

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About Margaret Merry

I grew up in Falmouth, Cornwall, England where, after leaving Falmouth High School, I spent a year at Falmouth School of Art. Then followed three years at Hornsey College of Art in London where I obtained a Diploma in Art and Design. I then spent a post-graduate year at the West of England College of Art in Bristol where I gained an Art Teacher?s Diploma and a Certificate in Education of the University of Bristol. I lived and worked in Truro for over 30 years and became one of Cornwall's most popular artists. My paintings have been exhibited in New York, Tokyo, Paris and London and have been bought by collectors from all over the world. I have published 4 books which became local bestsellers - 'The Natural History of a Westcountry City', 'Margaret Merry's Cornish Garden Sketchbook', 'Sea & Sail' and 'Tidal Reaches'. In 2002 I moved to Spain and now live in the little coastal village of Las Negras in the heart of the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata. I now get my inspiration from the dramatic scenery of Andalucia and its old cities, towns and villages which I usually capture in watercolour. I also enjoy figurative art, particularly nudes and dancers. For these paintings I use artists' soft pastels. I have written and illustrated 3 children's books - The Wise Old Boar, The Lonely Digger and The Adventure of Princess The Pony - which have been published in the USA.
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One Response to Cortijo del Fraile

  1. I am always stunned by the blue sky in your pictures at this time of year !!!

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