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The Quinta Was A Natural Stadium For A Passing Storm

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If you live in Portugal, you may have noticed we had some unexpected storms this afternoon. One particular storm passed to the north of the Quinta and as we are on top of a hill, our view north-east as the angry clouds passed us by was amazing.

I set the camera up to constantly take photos and I captured 8 separate strikes. It wasn’t one of our usual heavy, loud, wet and windy storms, but amazing to watch it pass us by.

Here are all 8 strikes merged into one photo.

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Passing Thunder Storm
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Rain Has (almost) Started The River Odelouca

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The River Odelouca is important for both wildlife, farming and human life in the Algarve. It runs dry in the heat of the summer and usually starts running in November. Last year, of course, we had no rain in the autumn and it wasn’t until March that the river started. It is critical to local wildlife, but also fills the Barragem de Odelouca which provides a large portion of drinking water to the Algarve region.

We’ve had a fair amount of rain over the last few weeks which has been filling the dry river bed pools and this morning it has started to trickle. I wouldn’t class it as running yet as there are still some breaks in the flow, but it has started to trickle. I think we are a few heavy showers away from the river running.

Trickling River

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A Little Autumn Rain Is Transforming The Landscape

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We’ve had a bit of an unusual (for late October) cold spell recently which has brought some welcome rain. I say welcome, from a photography point of view not so, but from a nature point of view, certainly.

It is starting to transform the landscape from dusty and dry to lush and green. Grass is now growing where it has been absent since mid summer.

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(all photos shot and edited using Lightroom on my Samsung Galaxy S8+)

Morning dew on new grass

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A Very Loud and Wet Afternoon

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I have been predicting a huge storm for a few days, today was the day. This morning it was a hot and sunny day and in the afternoon the temperature reached over 37 deg and the clouds began to build. The storm gathered and approached from the North East, over the hills from the Alentejo region. It moved very slowly, but when it finally got here it was loud. The strikes where coming to ground all around us. Imagine my surprise when I had an alert on my Fogo app (fire alerting app) that pinpointed a fire almost directly on our house. I went to the bottom of the drive to be greeted with the GNR and 5 Fire Trucks. They were called out for one of the strikes, but there doesn’t seem to be any damage and they spent the next hour checking the area for other evidence of strikes.

As the storm was slow-moving, I set the camera up and managed to capture this fork as it approached.

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The Approaching Storm
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[Instagram] WE HAVE A RIVER!

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This post is from my Instagram feed. Some Instagram feeds are not worthy enough of a new Blog Post, therefore, they will simply be shared. They are usually photos taken with my Mobile Phone. All Instagram posts will have “[Instagram]” at the beginning of the title.
Email notifications to subscribers are not sent.As I thought this was news worthy, this post has been included in the subscribers email.

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The Smell Of The Algarve Serra Has Returned, But The Rivers Still Have Not

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The recent cold spell is over and the daytime temperatures are back in the low 20s, the evenings can still be chilly though. This morning I was out walking the dog and noticed something I’d been missing, the smell of the Esteva, in English it’s called the Gum Rock Rose and its latin name is Cistus ladanifer.

This extremely tough evergreen shrub covers most of the Algarve Serra which is why the hills look green. The plant produces a resin and its this very sticky substance that gives off the amazing smell. As you can see in the photo, there is new growth on the top of this branch. The small leaves are extremely sticky hence the return of the smell. I mentioned “tough”, yes this shrub can withstand extreme drought and requires very little water.

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Esteva Shrub

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