miércoles, 29 de enero de 2014

Whoooo me?

After lunch yesterday, I heard a bird screeching and screeching.  It just went on and on.  Because there are so many birds of prey in the area, many of which are territorial, I figured that either a hawk or an eagle had been injured in a fight.  Funny thing is, even our dog, Cookie, was listening and seemed to be concerned.  So, I grabbed my cell phone and camera and went for a walk around the neighborhood to see what the problem was.

Believe it or not, what I came across was this little guy, a mochuelo (Athene noctua), who of course stopped screaming his head off as soon as he saw me.  According to the English version of Wikipedia, this little owl is actually called... a Little Owl.  (Ha!  How's that for simplicity?!) 

Look!  I'm only 2 bricks tall!

It's hard to believe that such a tiny owl, which can't be more than 8 inches tall, could put up such a racket.

I see you...

All the bird activity definitely keeps Luna entertained, although she also has become more of a scaredy cat, but who could blame her?

Please don't put me outside all alone! 

viernes, 17 de enero de 2014

San Antón

Every year on January 17th, here in La Mancha small villages continue to celebrate "El Día de San Antón" in honor of Saint Anthony the Abbot.  Apparently, San Antón was a hermit from Egypt who became one of the earliest monks.  He was said to love animals, and in La Mancha and in Madrid it is still popular to take pets and farm animals to church to be blessed (outside, of course!).

Here in my village, no blessings are offered in the local parish church, but on the eve of San Antón people light bonfires to later jump over the coals (which is done on San Juan in many other parts of Spain).

It's olive harvest time, and the thin branches that fall off the trees burn hot and fast.

My 13-year-old is already taller than his father...

Happy San Antón!

miércoles, 15 de enero de 2014

Bloom Day, January 2014

This Bloom Day, I am cheating and adding some photos of colorful foliage and hips, too (otherwise this would be a very short entry!).

Tiny red hips on La Sevillana

I love  Nandina domestica, but it really does not do well here.  The color is great, but it never grows.  I keep trying in different locations, but it is a definite no-go.

This strawberry variety came from my father-in-law's garden.  Love the red!
Why won't Blogger let me publish vertical photos?  It always turns them horizontally, like this photo of La Sevillana (and the first fly of the year - UGH!).  

And here's a horizontal Jude the Obscure

The almond trees are getting ready to bloom!  
And you know what that means: time to prune those rose bushes...

viernes, 10 de enero de 2014

So long, 2013!

Yes, 2013 was quite a year for us.  It started off with my husband losing his job, and then I lost mine just 9 days afterwards.  That is enough to rock any family's boat, don't you think?  Long live the Spanish economic crisis.

By summer, my expensive-ish camera bit the dust (thus, no blog entries since then), and this fall has been full of doctor's visits and more recommendations for surgery, just one year after my last procedure (I'm still dodging that scalpel).  Oh, and let's not forget that O's car died.  And my computer is on the fritz.

So, 2014 can only get better, right?  Well, actually, it hasn't started off that bad.  O has a new job, we have a new car, and Santa and the Three Kings have brought me a new camera.  Whooo-hooo!

To say farewell, here are some photos of my garden from 2013.

The Generous Gardener

Crown Princess Margareta and Golden Celebration

Benjamin Britten

The President

Winchester Cathedral

Crown Princess Margareta, honeysuckle, ivy, sage

Guirlande d'Amour

Looking forward to 2014!