2018.10.07 Will they thrive?

Some of my plants are flourishing, unfortunately not all. The fig, geranium and succulents are doing great. The avocado is still alive, but I am not sure he will make it. And the arugula is slowly vanishing.

The move and being put outside were probably the cause.

And at the end of the month we’re moving again. Keep your fingers crossed with me that these poor creatures will survive.



2018.08.29 Enjoyable walk

Most of the times when it’s so hot as it has been for the last weeks, we do our daily walk in the evening. And often we see a magnificent sunset. When it’s cloudless it is just an orange ball of fire sinking behind the mountains. But clouds make it even more spectacular.

We really had a treat this night.

We can’t walk with our nose in the air all the time because of the danger of falling flat on our faces. So we regularly came to a halt to watch the colors change. And to see the thunderclouds develop far away above the nature park.


2018.08.19 Goats, birds and buttons

When we visited the Sierra Espuña earlier this week, we promised the foresters we would come back with our grandchildren. And since today was a cloudy day, we lived up to our promise.

Driving to the visitor center we had to stop because of great herd of mountain goats next to the road. Unfortunately the youngest was sound asleep, but the eldest loved watching them.

So the tour started really well.

The exhibition in the center is really interesting, especially for children. And after we watched that intensively and tried all the buttons of the interactive displays, the foresters asked if we wanted to watch a movie about the area.

The maker of the movie did a cleaver job, adding a lot of shots of baby birds and baby animals. That’s always cute. The mouth of the littlest one didn’t stop talking. He loved all the animals he saw.


2018.07.16 Watching birds and cats

Whenever I look out of the kitchen window in the evening, I can see Tom trying to spot birds. He got inspired by the bird watchers that visited us.

Most of the times he is lucky, because in the dry field behind the house obviously there is enough to find for hoopoos and orioles.

To be honest, I prefer him watching birds above chasing cats. Which is another pastime for Tom. One that is totally futile, because as soon as we are in the house, the cats are in the garden, trying to escape their brothers, the dogs.


2018.07.13 Growing things

When I bought the soil for my succulents I saw sets with seed on the counter. It seems a nice set for the grandchildren to grow seeds, but they are still little. So I wanted to make sure the waiting time wouldn’t be too long.

Besides, I like growing things myself as well.

Last sunday evening I prepared the two little pots and put half of the little bags of seed on the soil. Covered them with a little bit of plastic and waited.

After 3 days the rúcula stuck its head above the soil, one day later followed by the tomatoes. Look how big they already are after 5 days.

So yes, this is definitely a nice thing to do with the kids when they return in August.


2018.06.20 A first guestpost!

Capers (in Spanish: alcapparas)

Capers are the unopened flower buds, preserved in salt or in vinegar, from the Capparis spinosa, also called Flinders rose. This plant is native to the Mediterranean, and can also be found in the area of Mazarrón. In a way it is tempting to pick the flower buds yourself to make capers.

But not from the plant that is photographed here. We fear that this one could be contaminated because it grows in a mining site.

If you want to know where this is exactly: fill in the three words in the search screen of the online map on the website what3words.com.

As they claim themselves, the service what3words is a really simple way to talk about location. They divided the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares and assigned each one a unique 3 word address.

So type in rollers.groomed.grandson in the online map, or in the free what3words app, and you will find the exact location of this Flinders rose. You will discover it grows in the Compendio de Minas, the abandoned Mines of Mazarrón.

^Eduard Groen

2018.06.14 Poppies and windmills

Long distances are bo-o-o-ring. At least in my opinion. But this time I enjoyed myself very much. The landscape between Madrid and Albacete is my kind of landscape. Sloping and colorful.

It’s an agricultural part of Spain with a great variety of uncultivated brown, green or yellow fields. But the best parts were the poppy fields. So unexpected and so red. Just beautiful.

And again lots of windmill fields. I keep wondering why there is so little emphasis on alternative energy in Spain, because there are so many windmills and so many fields of solar panels. Rumor has it that most are not connected. Let’s hope that it’s just a rumor and not the reality.


2018.05.21 Blue skies

Until today every early morning and every early evening clouds are hanging either on top of the mountains or above our heads.

Today was the exact opposite. An impeccable blue sky this morning and the moment I am writing this post. And clouds in the middle of the day. Everybody keeps warning us it’s going to be hot over here, but so far the temperatures are perfect for me and even a bit cold for Tom.

The tree I photographed as a contrast to the blue sky, is one of my neighbor’s trees. And thanks to one of my Facebookfriends I know now how to look up the name: in an app called Garden Answers. Simply upload a picture and the answer is there.

This is a Jacaranda Mimosifolia or Black Poui.
In our own garden is a mini version of it with one peculiar seed box. I hope to be here long enough to see more of those. Seed boxes always were a great inspiration for me when I worked on my ceramics.


2018.05.20 Rabbits

This field is close to the house and often we see the white tails of rabbits fleeing from us when we walk past. I did my utmost to make a picture of them, but they’re too quick.

The sign coto privado de caza means ‘private hunting’. Does this mean they shoot the rabbits, I wonder?
I hope not. They’re so cute when they hop through the field.