Saturday, July 25, 2009


What do you think of this face? Scary eh? It's like an African voodoo image. Where did I find it? Well one of the many persistant noises we hear at this time of year in Spain, is made by the cicadas. Anyone who has had a Spanish summer holiday will know what I mean. I believe their noise is not made by vibrating limbs like crickets and grass-hoppers. It is to do with a chamber of air in their bodies. I quite like to hear them. It is a sign that summer is here. Most of the time they are just a background chirruping that you hardly notice, but sometimes, especially in the heat of the day, they make a real racket, a high pitched whine that makes you think there is a problem with the power lines that hang across the village. If you approach a group of trees where the cicadas are 'singing', each tree falls silent as you approach it, and starts up again when you have passed it, which make it quite difficult to locate the little beasties! However, last night, just at dusk, one dive-bombed our pool. I heard it, but didn't realise what it was. But, of course, the dogs heard it too, and Jonathan saw Chico fish something out of the pool and go to eat it. (He is greedy and eats everything, edible or not!). I went to investigate and found this cicada. They are quite large, about an inch and a half long, with stiff, rather attractive wings. I took this picture and when I zoomed in on it, there was my scary face, in the pattern on its back. One way of keeping your preditors at bay!
I am pleased to say that the wild-fire around Mojacar is now under control, and though some areas are still smouldering, most of it is now out, and the people have been allowed back to their properties. It seems it was only a change in wind direction and force that prevented much of the pueblo and surrounding urbanisations from being destroyed. Many, many poeple have lost their outbuildings, gardens, and sadly their animals, but at least their houses are relatively undamaged. Of course they have a huge cleaning up job to do. One of the off shoots of the disaster is that many villages, including Los Gallardos, are now without water until tomorrow or possibly Monday. Originally water supplies were diverted for fire-fighting, and then, as the fire started moving west of Mojacar towards Carbonares, cables melted causing short circuits at the pumping stations that supply water to this area. The authorities are working to repair the damage, but have said we will not be connected for a couple of days. Fortunately we have this little blue tank at the side of the house. It is a 'deposito' that holds 600 litres of water. Many houses have them as water cuts are not uncommon out here. At the flick of a switch the water is pumped through the taps in the house. We turn the pump on regularly so the water is always changing, so it is fresh when we need it. Of course we are extremely grateful for it this weekend. If we are careful how we use it, it is sufficient to last for several days.

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