Tag Archives: Weather

Blossom and snow (may you bloom and go)

One of the few things I miss about being in the UK is the way the seasons change.  Admittedly, in the Peak District, the seasons seemed to change out of kilter with some other places:  the winter could hang on and on – but eventually the spring would arrive.  The vivid green of the new leaves on trees in spring, the (intermittent) blue skies and sunshine in summer, the autumn leaves and then the crisp, snowy winter days.  They could all have their charm.

Here in the Mizala valley the changes are more subtle.  There aren’t many trees – and many of them are olive trees which keep their leaves year round.  It’s very dry and sunny and winter days can be as warm as UK summers.

This year has been rather different though.  The storms of last December were followed by the first snow in the valley that we had ever seen.  We found out later that it was the first snow here since 1939!20170119_083013

The sun soon returned and with it came the almond blossom and the most fabulous array of spring flowers.  My photography isn’t good enough to do it justice, but olive and almond groves are now covered in a lilac carpet and tiny yellow and white flowers are everywhere you tread.20170228_102222


Even the cactus is getting in on the act:20170228_102605


Stormy weather

Living next to the desert means that we have to be very careful with our use of water.  We get very little rainfall here – usually.

However, in December 2016 we had rather a lot…

Roads were washed away and bits of the landscape were completely transformed.  The dry river bed became a roaring torrent and vegetation was swept away.  Terraces collapsed and huge holes appeared seemingly out of the blue.20161231_145711

Fields turned into lakes20161218_105656

and landslips occurred all over the place20161231_151840

(that’s the house in the background).

Water water everywhere

Pod taking a dip in the Rambla
Pod taking a dip in the Rambla

We live in a very dry part of the world.  We are right next door to the only desert in Europe.  We are on the mains here for water, but you wouldn’t know it most of the time.  On the rare occasions when we do get water via the mains, the pressure isn’t enough to get up to the tanks at the back of the house, so we have to pump it up from a small tank at the front.

For a while we had the “bucket of hope”  (see the blog post Mark’s philosophy) positioned under a stand pipe, but now we have got used to ordering a tanker when the supplies get low.

Sometimes the water pressure gets turned up – and then we get lots of lovely water, but it’s difficult to predict when this will happen.  Sometimes, if the pressure is turned up too high, there are leaks in the pipe – and then the water supply will stop altogether.

We did discover why we were unlikely to get any water after one particular leak.  Although someone had been out to “fix” it, the solution wasn’t likely to allow much water through to us.

The leak is fixed.
The leak is fixed.

The fix was simply to bend the pipe over and tie it up with some string…