Autumn has arrived; its arrival is marked as usual by seasonal tints forming in the leaves on the trees and the ripening of their seeds, nuts and berries. A season bringing with it cool evenings but those bright sunshine days remain.
Rainfall was abundant across Spain last week, when the south of the peninsular received over 137 litres per square meter, which fell in less than 40 minutes. Here as ever, clouds promised thunder storms but they were chased away by the, seemingly ever present, stronger afternoon winds blowing down from the mountains tops. The higher peaks have received their first snowfall and Ski resorts report 12” of snow on the slopes. The fields around us have been ploughed, enriched with farmyard manure which was in turn mixed into the rocky soil by the returning plough.
Autumn in the northern hemisphere is the time for harvest, and industrious African boys are labouring in the orchards picking the fruit for which this region is famous. Likewise, the shepherds have now completed their years work and the flock has gone to slaughter. The sight of 500 sheep or Xai (as they are called locally) grazing our Finca never fails to impress visitors. The flock owned by Francisco, has in recent times been managed by Ubacca another African man and his three dogs. They led or guided the sheep across many kilometres of land each day grazing on grasses and fine weeds.