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Posts Tagged ‘forests’

In The Beginning

 

This is what we fell in love with all those years ago (I installed the water header tank).

Well I think by now most people who follow my blogs know that one of my favourite topic is rain (or the lack of to be precise), but that’s what you get when looking for your perfect location to live and write then find it in the middle of nowhere in a forest halfway up a small valley in the mountains, fall in love with it and buy it…

                  

       

These are photos of the track to give you an idea of how steep it is where it looks flat it’s not your still climbing.

These photos of the farm looking back towards the masa show how close the forest is and we own most of what you can see.

Now when you think of a forest you probably think of leafy glades, flat forest floor and pathways or tracks that are level and when it rains get a little muddy, no?? well that’s what my wife thought of when I brought her here, didn’t last long though.  On the drive up here she was very silent and holding onto the handle of the car door.  We had a 4×4 then and it looked wider than the track, however, once she saw our ‘home’ she was smitten but even quieter on the drive to the hotel.  If you don’t like it we can go somewhere else I said,  No I love it came the reply but I really need to know we can get a small lorry up there for building materials or we have a problem, but we found we could and the rest as they say is history.  Once the bungalow was built and I had – with the help of my (wife) builders mate – sorted out the water, electrics (solar), gas (bottled) and sewage (tank) we were all set. So now to the water – or lack there of.

Water!!

   

This is how we had our house water delivered when we only had the small cisterna (water tank) Manell is a friend and our ‘go to’ person when we need something done.  He gives advice and help, and is always smiling. Every so often we would buy 5,000 ltrs  of potable (drinking) water to keep us going if it didn’t rain. I soon realised that although the original cisterna was just big enough for the house, in times of drought it was not enough. So we built, with the help of Manell and his digger, a new cisterna which would ensure that we had enough house water and, please god we never have to use it like this, water to fight a fire because if a forest fire came through here we would have to climb inside one of them to survive that’s how far we are into the forest.

As for the garden well I bought some cubes placed one by the bathroom wall and the other at the side of the Fly Free Zone (FFZ) these work very well taking the run off from the roof as long as we get some rain.

This is how we used to collect river water for the cubes before getting things sorted.

So back to the garden water.  The two cubes are sufficient as the garden is either set out with bulbs, cacti, drought loving plants (lavenders etc.,) or tubs.  Watering them every two days helps, and the very few plants we have that are normal are planted in places where I know there is moisture in the ground most of the year (ie., near the concrete of the patios).  So when it does rain we get all excited like Christmas, but a thunderstorm during the daytime is a little bit scary I watch the skies for smoke but I can tell you from experience that you hear the fire before you see it. This time of year has Carol making a plastic bag for ‘important’ things which she can quickly fill.

But that apart we are content. I knew what we were getting into when I bought the farm and neither of us would change it.  We have adventurous spirits like the challenge of solving things and love nature.  The things we have seen since we have been here and the adventures we have had are what we love about our home.  We were here before they made it a Park Natural because of the Golden Eagles, and often see them flying over the masa. The birds, animals and others make this a perfect place to write, live and relax.  Waking to the song of Boris blackbird, listening to the thrushes, lark and others during the early morning or late evening, all of this is our life.  Yes the piggy wigs are naughty sometimes and make my wife cry when they dig her bulbs up but we would not have it any other way.  As I write we have another mysterious creature up here.  We think it’s a bird wife says an owl me am not sure but we have been woken by what sounded like a female voice in the early morning twice now but neither seen nor heard anything human.  Nothing on the cameras (cards back in) so we don’t know, but will keep you posted.

 

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc  (author)

 

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Being Good For Big Sis

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This is our big sister she brings us presses

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These are the presses: palm balls to chew and a wooden rope ladder to play on

So earlier this year we had a visit from Michelle (Big Sis) to us. She spent most of her time here relaxing in the FFZ (Fly Free Zone) with us either reading or on her computer, either way we had a great time.  She would talk to us and tell mum when she thought we wanted more seed or another piece of millet or a honey stick – we put on quite a bit of weight hehehe.  But it was the afternoons when mum and dad went to petanca or school we had most fun.

img_20160623_090606You can see from this picture that we were in the sunshine with a table placed in front of our cage (dads idea) to stop us being blown from one side of the ffz to the other, think it was our cries of wheeeee that did it. Anyway when they weren’t around and the wind was blowing she would remove the table drag us across to the other side and laugh as we rolled by even joining in with the wheeeee’s.  Never told mum and dad though, mind you, we nearly got caught we were having so much fun one day we nearly didn’t hear the car coming up the track…

 When I Upset The Wife

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Then I went and upset the wife. She had been busy making a nice warm nest for her and the eggs I know I was watching her.  But I thought well she’s going to be in there for a while I know I’ll get some clean bedding, so whilst she was busy eating I threw out some of the old stuff and put some clean fresh stuff in there, thought she would be pleased. Boy you should have heard her, she squawked on and on for ages we weren’t speaking at one time sat back to back but hey we soon made up.

Dads Hand and Cricket

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Then dad had something called an operation on his hand. Came back one morning with this thick material stuff on it, showed it to us but can’t understand why he wouldn’t let us out we could have saved him all those visits to that hospital we would have removed that and things called stitches for him there and then.  Still he used to sit in the ffz with us and listen to something called cricket on his lap top. That was really cool especially when a man he called Tuffers was on, we liked him we talked to him all the time.

Sticks and Palm Trees

img_0637-640x480 img_0669-640x480 img_0668-640x480 img_0670-640x480 img_0671-640x480One day dad decided that we needed a nice clean bit of wood to chew so he found this long piece that we couldn’t pull through the bars and said “there you go try chewing through that”.  Well a challenge is a challenge so we did only in the middle and one day it broke in half, can’t think why. Dad then moved the two bits around so we wouldn’t hurt ourselves and left us to our chewing, no fun any more. Then last week we had a nice surprise, it rained..  Not that we were in any danger of getting wet but those two decided to go to the SEASIDE I ask you in the RAIN????  but when they returned they had a piece of a palm tree with them wow.  So mum got some wire took the two palm ball links (including the bells) cut two pieces of the palm threaded the wife through them plus a bell joined it all up and hung it up for us.  You should have heard the wife when she saw it, talk about squawking she turned out some old bedding and I have been busy getting new stuff.

So that was our summer. We enjoyed it looking forward to next year, but first comes the lights on the Walnut tree – that’s mums idea.  Tweety Christmas Everyone.

(c) Bluebottle and Eccles The Boys

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Fighting Goats!

Well it rained (stop laughing) so we went shopping rather later than usual, didn’t rush and got back just as the sun came out (briefly). After unloading the car I went to look at the cisterna to see if we how the water level was going. However I didn’t get there as rounding the corner of the house I heard this THUMP CRASH! I wasn’t sure what it was it sounded a bit like a gun going off but the hunters weren’t out. Then it came again only this time it was louder and more defined.  Looking up at the masa I first saw two eagles circling then I  saw the cause of the crashes, there were two large goats fighting it out on the edge of the masa with one using a boulder to gain height over his opponent.  I called to Carol and she came out with the camera so up to the terrace we went and these were the shots we got. the story went something like this:

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So you want to be leader do you well lets fight it out. Winner is leader of the herd looser goes over the side ok? Ok except I’m not going over the side. CHARGE!!!

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Stop pushing and get off that rock that’s cheating! No it’s not I’m king of the masa you’re the one I chase sir..

dsc00068-640x480Owww that hurts mind where you put your horns and stop pushing me towards the edge, fight fair.

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Ok that’s enough time to go home. Did you see them down there with the camera? think they have any good shots? No humans are all the same they see us and the cameras come out and they start trying to get closer. Either way we will finish this later on.  Then all was quiet on the masa front.

 

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

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Our Visitor and the Boys

I have often told you about the birds and animals that appear from time to time and the wild boar and goats that are around.  Well this one may not be wild (it has a tag in its ear) but it seems to have attached itself to us.  We were coming home the other evening and saw at the side of the track what looked like a baby deer. We stopped then saw it was a young goat.  Knowing better than to interfere with it  we carefully drove past and came home.  So imagine how surprised we were when this young male goat turned up. It wandered about so we thought the goat-herd was around but no, so we put a bowl of water out for it and it settled under the olive tree. After a while Bazz (yep he’s been named) got up and wandered off, so we returned to our various activities Michael writing, me doing bits and pieces on line and our daughter and the Boys sitting in the FFZ.  Next thing I hear is ‘Oi don’t eat the strawberries, leave the roses alone then get out of the tree’.  Although Bazz wasn’t exactly  scared of us he was skittish but he decided to take a look round and do goatish things, and yes they do climb trees.

The only photos I could get were through the double layer of netting as if I tried to get a clear photo Bazz was off, camera shy me thinks.  Now the Boys are very good ‘alarms’ (think they don’t like competition for our attention) so every time Bazz turned up they were shouting and hollering, and when I took his photos they made such a clamor that I had to  take one with them in.  By evening they had calmed down and Bazz had found a corner by the little house where he could hunker down for the night.  We think that he mother must have found him during the night as he wasn’t around this morning either that or he found the herd again, either way life has returned to normal until the next visitor wanders in.

Oh and as I write we have found out where Bazz is  in our shed…..

 

(c)  M.D. Bosc  Author

 

 

animals, wild boar, wild cats, goats,

 

 

 

 

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My Garden In A Nutshell

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Well the weather has cooled down a tad so I have been trying to play catch up in the garden. If you remember ‘Stalker Sam’ the little black redstart, you will know I have decided to dedicate the tree garden to my little helper. So I will start with ‘Sams’ garden.  Having cleared away the weeds and dug up the intrusive bulbs I found some crocus which were having a hard time growing through the leaves of the ‘intruders’  plus one or two Lilly’s still growing there. This made for drastic action on my part, a lot of soil sifting but at last the bulbs were out. I then re-planted the crocus at the front edge, looked for the mini Iris and Tulips and added them.  The bulbs in there are now small and will be left to spread, they will remind me of him and his little ways, I still turn to see if he’s watching me from round one of the trunks.  Mulch is provided by the olive leaves which the worms seem to like, and I have started a ‘weed liquid’ in a plastic bucket to provide nourishment.

The Wild Bulbs and Plants

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Most of what grows up here are bulbs, because they don’t need so much water. Therefore I have planted up quite a lot of the wild lilies we found when we moved here, and have since added Freesias, Tulips – green and black – Anemone  and Gladioli.  I have also moved into various beds Wild Gladioli, Grape Hyacinths, tiny Daffodils which were growing in the forest when we were clearing a fire break, along with the Iris, Lavender, Honeysuckle and Jasmine to name but a few.  I am only just coming to terms with the Asphodelus which grows all over the place like the lavender and rosemary, which at certain times of the year scent the evening air with their perfume. The oddest one so far is the one I have named ‘Carrot’ plant because its leaves are like the leaves of the carrot.

There are still a lot of plants out there that I have not got to yet but I’m a lady on a mission. So above are a few of the various plants and bulbs that I have found on the finca hope you enjoy.

My Robin

 

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Last but not least, people in the gardening club have been showing off their Robins, so I thought I’d introduce you to Bobbin.  This picture was taken whilst we were sat having coffee one year he was right under the table by my feet.  Through the years he, Boris Black Bird, Dangerous Dan the crested Tit and others have given us many a laugh with their antics. I think gardening is a good way to see nature, and here the garden is always evolving.  Plans that are made and often started in summer when its far too hot to work outside, are finalised or finished through autumn, winter and spring.   I have a lot of half done things and plans for others so from September onwards it will be all go.

(c) C A Bosc

 

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Club Nautique

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This is my friend Pep like me a sailor at heart.  He is on the committee of Club Nautique and does the races.  Now a while ago the local council decided that they would construct a cantilever walkway down river road. This has meant the road has been impassable for several weeks now with, as far as I can tell,  only the paving actually done.  As you have to traverse this small road to get to Club Nautique it obviously has an effect on them and their training hours.   We visited the club one evening to see how things were going and although there were a few people there, it was nothing like it used to be, we could pick our table with no problems.

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It was good to see Pep and his family again plus hear about how the club was doing in the various competitions, he has invited us to go with them to see for ourselves, and as soon as I have a free Sunday (no Petanca) I shall do just that.

The Garden

 

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We had a nice surprise the other morning one of the roses that had not flowered before had done so and two blooms at that.  These are roses that a friend of my wife had dug up and was going to throw away, but before doing so she asked if we would like them. So duly planted last year we lost two but although the other survived no flowers.  Then came this drought and taking in to consideration our water situation I did not expect them to survive but not only have they but bloomed as well isn’t nature wonderful.

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As you can see from this photo it’s not only the roses that have ‘gone for it’ our grapevine has taken off like a rocket and is attempting to become a triffid.  There are bunches of grapes on it but it has, despite my endeavours to curtail it, clambered around the fly free zone and into the walnut tree.  Not content with all this it has stretched out to the door and is now attempting to grow across the FF door and on to goodness knows where.  I often wonder just what we grow up here plants or things from outer space….

The Weather

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I used to think that talking about the weather was an English thing, not any more.  Because we have had so little rain this year and it has been hotter than usual from around the end of April, everyone is talking about the heat.  There is no common ground here though, it’s either very dry and very humid or thunder, lightening, loads of rain (we should be so lucky) with the accompanying floods. The sky still does its ‘look we’re storm clouds’ over us and still bugs off somewhere else, I’m not greedy even a little tinkle would be appreciated.

We did have some rain a few days ago but not enough to mention really, but I have, plus its so hot that you really don’t want to go outside, even the fly free zone is too much.  Any breeze we have is the equivalent to a steam room and the humidity, well that hangs over everything in a cloud of mist you can’t see down the valley.   Believe me I do not need to take the car to the wash, early morning with a clean cloth and its washed then sun-dried. I suppose the only thing

Survival Of The Fittist

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You may or may not remember Buzz the humming bee who got stuck in the false apple, well a little while after that happened the wind gave a great puff and the supports – old wooden beams – gave up the ghost and fell down.  The result was that I had to dig the plant up cut it right back and find somewhere else to plant it.  The car port was the answer, so it went in at the back with its feet in the shade tied the stem to one of the poles made it a water dropper and left it to get on with things.  Last year it made a feeble attempt to get going but this year its on the rampage again.  Up and off over the roof of the car port which is what we wanted, it has actually flowered not as prolific as it originally did but the fact that it has done so is a bonus.  The perfume in the evening wafts into the bedroom and is very much like Jasmine.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

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Well as always up here life is full of surprises.  Take this morning, there we were getting ready for our visit to Riber Rojo when I heard my wife saying “not a chance sunshine”.  It turned out, a young cat had suddenly appeared at the kitchen window and was obviously looking for food.  Now this was definitely not a wild cat but a feral one.  Thin, white coat with brown and dark markings.  Word has obviously got around the wildlife, nothing changes up here.

Reina – Friend and Restaurant

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Anyway, after this excitement, oh I almost forgot.  Yesterday afternoon I needed to get some distilled water, so I needed to go into town but I could not find my bag.  Now this was serious as my driving licence, money, phone and other things were in it.  We tried ringing the phone in case I had left it in the car boot, nothing.  I knew I had not left it on the beach as I had it when we went to the restaurant…… yep I had got up and walked out without it.   A mad dash found me in town at Reina’s which was full to the gunnels with people enjoying drinks and meals.

As I walked towards the counter I was greeted with “ah senior tu balsa” where upon the young lady held up my bag.  I cannot tell you what that senior moment did to my BP.  I was so pleased with the honesty of these people, when I offered them some money as a reward they told me they were glad of my custom and that was enough.  Now that is something to treasure and I do.  I am quite steadfast about my food we have eaten here a few times and I can honestly say that it is excellent.  So it was a nice surprise this morning when relating the story to Reina I discovered that the restaurant is run by his family, the Chef had studied in London. Oh yes Reina (pronounced Rayner) is the one in the middle.

Sand Sea and Sunshine

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For the first time this year we went to the seaside proper, swimming costumes, umbrella, beach towels the lot.  Now unlike the tourists we are not able to be out in the heat all day, but in the evening it is really pleasant to go to the beach which is un-crowded, and have a swim or just people watch.   We spent a few hours then went home perfect end to a hot day.

Books and Things

 

I have been busy translating my books into Spanish.  So most mornings we are up early doing the watering and any tidying such as the grape-vine which decided to pick Sunday morning to fall off the FFZ roof – the string broke – so there I was up the ladder with wire this time fixing it back into place. Then breakfast and translating, just another day in the life of an author…..

 

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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