[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.

Esteva Shrub

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Still No Real Rain, Still No River

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Although we’ve had the promise of a few days heavy rain, they have turned out to be a couple of heavy showers. Nothing to make any difference to the land.

The landscape is starting to turn green where grass is growing due to overnight dew, however, nothing like last year.

The river remains dry, very dry. This time last year we the river was running due to adequate rain as the following comparison photos show. Look at the difference of grass on the left riverbank and the colour of the hills behind.

Top: Nov 27 2016 – Bottom: Nov 27 2017

Top: Nov 27 2016 – Bottom: Nov 27 2017

Even the small river pools formed in deeper sections that provide water and food for the local wildlife (including “Princessa” our resident Kingfisher) are starting to empty. This comparison photo shows the effect just 4 weeks of warm dry autumnal weather has had on the pools.

Top: Oct 31 2017 – Bottom: Nov 27 2017

Only speaking from a totally selfish point of view, the pools on section of river running through our land is becoming extremely dry. However, from a locality point of view, there is still plenty of water and (hopefully) a food source for the local wildlife. There are many Barragems (small man-made reservoirs) which remain at good levels and there are further, larger, river pools. There are many other parts of Portugal that are in desperate need of rain but here in the Hills of the Algarve, although we will be welcoming sustained rainy days, it’s not critical yet. That being said, it’s about time the river started!

As I type, the forecast is showing the next 2 days to be persistent rain, we’ll wait and see.