....And right now the season out here is a time for Harvest. The trees are dripping with ripe oranges and lemons, and this week we saw the arrival of stacks of yellow crates at the end of each row of trees, ready for fruit picking to start. I believe it goes on all through December and January. But unlike at home, when harvesting and planting have very distinct seasons, out here this is also the season for planting. First it is a time for clearing, and for the past week there has been a faint scent of bonfires as the farm land is cleared and all the dead plant matter is burned. In every direction the smoke hung in the air like a low brown cloud, that very slowly drifted away, but it wasn't unpleasant because the smell was reminiscent of real bonfires, burning resinous wood, dried herb branches, and other natural plants with nothing synthetic thrown on to spoil it. As we have been driving around here we have seen mile after mile of neat ploughed fields, where the machinery used leaves long, straight flat-topped ridges with furrows between them for the irrigation pipes. As I went to the supermarket in San Juan the other day I saw one such field with about twenty workers spread along the rows, each with a box of seedlings. By the time I had done my shopping and was returning home, the field was completely planted with baby lettuces, which will no doubt flourish in the damper and cooler, though still warm, weather. The Spanish may be a nation of very laid-back folk, but when they do work, they don't waste any time. We have seen the same thing all over the area this week. I suspect lettuces will grow very fast, and then we can watch them being picked, and the next field being planted again.
I am finishing with two pictures of a beautiful range of hills/mountains, which were the back drop to the orange grove I was photographing. It is only a few metres in from the coast. I did a very short detour on my way home from church this morning, to take them. The hills remind me of a piece of greeny-brown velvet that someone has dropped and left it in its folds as it fell. The light and shadow on them is lovely and I spend ages looking at them. I hope you like them too.