Friday, 28 September 2018

Wildlife Everywhere

In these days when wildlife is under pressure it is good to know that there are small havens where it still thrives. Galicia as a whole, and specifically Petas is one of those havens. We have adders around our biggest compost pile, my daughter nearly trod on one. Last week I saw our youngest cat getting excited. A fully grown slow worm was dragging a huge protesting frog backwards into the orchard. I haven't got any pictures because I don't have a smart phone or carry my camera around with me. I did however get a rather unfocused picture of one of the praying mantis that live in my poly tunnel.
Whilst watering the polytunnel yesterday a water vole dashed away from the hose and out of the door. The locals call them mole rats and curse them as they eat vegetable plants from underneath. I curse them as well but in the UK they are a protected species because of their rarity. I have written a previous post on the various amphibians we have lurking under stones. As I watched another breath-taking sunset and darkness fell the night was alive with the screeching calls of barn owls and hoots of tawny owls whilst bats flit around the windows hunting the last of the insects. We have little owls as well and the cries of hunting buzzards are a daily occurrence. Deer and wild boar  are often seen from the car as we drive by. I could go on but I expect you get the picture by now. It is lovely here.

Back to business, the first trees are starting to change colour. Our biggest mulberry is luminous even in the morning mist.
We harvested the squashes. Considering we didn't get back here until March we were lucky to get anything. We have four sweet dumplings and three huge blue banana squashes.
Flowers are hanging on grimly and the roses still put out their wonderful scent. Galicia is fabulous in Autumn and it has barely begun. The chestnuts are nearly here and mushrooms soon hurrah.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Autumn Equinox Ahoy

We have got this far and are counting our blessings. My latest cancer scan and bloods are clear, I have just got over a horrendous tummy bug, it was brief but AWFUL. A fabulous misty and drippy start to the day and we can plan for our Autumn activities. I made the first chutney of the year earlier this week before the lurgi struck and as you can see I have planted some seeds to over winter. Chard, red kale, bush beans and peas. The peas and beans are an experiment to see if they will get productive in the polytunnel. I have read that you can sow autumn beans so fingers crossed.
I have bought the standard over wintering veggies for the outdoor tyre stacks, cabbage, sprouts, cauliflower, more kale, leeks and some lettuce again for the polytunnel.
Somehow the flowers keep on blooming. The ginger exotics are blooming again despite last winter's heavy frost. They just like the shelter of the porch and pear tree which keeps their rhizomes frost free.
 We still haven't managed to get the brambles thwacked but the wood is away into the wood shed, some of the big bits still need splitting further but we will get around to it. There is always more to do than we have time for. I am just so lucky to still be here and enjoying the views.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Summer Again

As usual there are loads of annoying flies and it's too hot to work outside in the daytime heat but the buddleja is back buzzing with bees and butterflies and there is nothing better than watching all the activity in the early evening from our armchairs under the porch with a cold beer.
As everything has been so overgrown, and still is, I am making do with containers this year. There is the one planted with culinary herbs and the fabulous hanging basket.
Everything is watched over by the ruler of this place, Nosher the elderly tabby, from Kent in the UK. The warm weather agrees with him.