A few months ago we had lightening hit close to the house and jump through our Earth rods and arched across to the telephone cable causing a lot of damage to electronics attached to our home network. Today, we had what everyone fears living in Portugal, a fire close to the house. It was a big one that got large quickly. It started 1km from the house, but luckily the wind was pushing it away from us. At time of writing this, the fire is still burning, but seems to be under control so hopefully we can sleep easy tonight.
I was at a nearby ridge, in complete safety, streaming a live Facebook video and also managed to take a few photos whilst I was up there. This first one was heartbreaking to see this Bee-keeper rushing to collect all his hives as a small front approached over a nearby ridge. He managed to remove all of the hives before the fire came.
This morning, I was sat on the terrace drinking a Coffee and a pair (male and female) of Golden Orioles came into plain view in a Eucalyptus tree about 50 meters away. I wasn’t quick enough to grab the camera and get the female, but I got the male. This isn’t the same location as the nearby “Oriole Terrace” this is so much closer. They actually woke me at 6am with their stunning song, I suspect they are going to nest in this tree which is fantastic news. They also have the choice of many Fig trees nearby so is the perfect location, their Portuguese name is actually Papa-figo as Figs are their food of choice. All of the photos below are shot on my D850 and then transferred with SnapBridge to my smartphone and edited in Lightroom.
There always seems to be some confusion about Snakes in Portugal. I often hear things like “There are no poisonous snakes in Portugal” or “That’s the nasty one, keep away or kill it”. Before I continue, poisonous refers to actually eating it, the term is venomous.
The truth is, apart from two Vipers (one of which is found right up in the Northern far reaches of Portugal, there really isn’t too much to be worried about. Even the Vipers are not particularly dangerous.
There has always been a lack of a good reference guide to the Snakes that can be found here in Portugal, so I have compiled this reference with links to further information to help you identify any snakes you may find.
I’m not a snake expert by any imagination and therefore I am open to advice if there is something not quite right.