Archive for April, 2012

The Jasmine and Wisteria entrance to the Quinta

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Jasmine-and-Wisteria-approach-to-bar-2529, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

This time of year is always in my mind the best here at the Quinta, the last two weeks of April and the first two of May. OK, so it’s not as hot as later on in the year and the lake’s not so warm either, but everything seems to be buzzing with Life, and especially so the entrance to the Quinta as you can see above with the Jasmine and Wisteria in full bloom. It makes it a shame to have to leave it to go out birding sometimes!
We’ve just been written about in another French magazine, this time this week’s edition of “Madame Figaro”, so we seem to be becoming known to our Gallic cousins and I can see I’ll have to polish up my French.
What I also have to polish up is my nursing skills, as Daniela is highly unimpressed with them; she managed to put a knife through her arm yesterday and now has nine stitches holding her together. The Health Centre in Odemira was mercifully empty when we pitched up there yesterday so we were in and out in a jiffy; what wasn’t so impressive was a complete absence of Betadine anti-septic … I hope it’s just a one-off and not a cost-cutting exercise, but I must remember to take our own bottle in there next time to be on the safe side …

Carolina by Antonio Cruz

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Carolina-by-Antonio-Cruz-1809, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

It’s a first I think for me to post a photo on either of my blogs that i didn’t take myself, but this is an exception as it’s such a fantastic shot of Carolina.
It’s one of the many ways that we’re lucky here in that the Quinta attracts more and more fantastic photographers to stay and take advantage of the subjects, light and clarity we enjoy.
During the last two weeks we’ve had two such photographers here, Antonio Cruz and Ben Cherry; have a look at their stuff.
Now all I have to save up for is a 1D Mk 4 and a nice little wide-angle ….

Clouds across the lake 0955

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Clouds across the lake 0955, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

After one of the driest winters I can remember - we only had 15 minutes rain between August and April - we’ve been blessed with some Spring showers the last few weeks, and the countryside has recovered incredibly fast. The flowers are out, the birds are singing fit to bust and everywhere nature seems to be making up for lost time.
Of course it wont be anything like the Spring we had last year, but it’ll be a hell of a lot better than we were dreading it was going to be.
Obviously we’re very sorry for those unfortunate enough to have booked their holiday here during this unsettled weather, but for those staying during the coming weeks this rain, though not enough to make up for the drought during the winter, has at least salvaged the majority of the flowers - and the cloud formations like the above that we’ve enjoyed during the last fortnight have been stunning!
For those interested in the natural world, remember that all the latest birding news is posted on our birding website.

A first for Frank

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

We do a lot of nature themed activities here at the Quinta as I’m sure a lot of you are aware, and most of these revolve around Birdwatching, so it’s not every day that Frank, the Quinta’s owner and Birder-in-Chief, gets to see something he’s never seen before, but this week was an exception when we saw Great Bustards fighting, so we thought a small clip of it would amuse you.

There’s a larger film on our Birding Blog if you want to see more …