Tuesday, 23 November 2021


The weather continues warm and  very pleasant for walking on the farm. It was 3 pm, when I started off walking down the slope on our driveway, and I spent a couple of hours looking at all the changes that had taken place since my last amble, marvelling in the richness of colour that nature had bestowed on the leaves still on the trees and on the ground.I haven't counted the photos that I took, but there are many. 


This picture is typical of the landscape. Rocky outcrops are visible everywhere, and add interest to the sloping land. Some have been made into steps, and I used to walk around here, and then sit to rest on a stone bench  made with three large stones, like a mini Stonehenge structure.

I walked down the leaf covered driveway, enjoying the sound of the leaves rustling under my feet, stopping occasionally to take the colourful Autumn views with my camera.

Lower down I went, towards the pond, by a different route.

To my right was this beautiful coloured tree, so I had to take  a photo.

On the ground was a small Oak tree, with vivid coloured leaves.

Then I saw these small toadstools inside a sawed off tree trunk.

The squirrels had probably been nibbling at them.

What you see here, is the right side of the pond. You can just see the steps on the bottom left side of this photo, which take you to the pond.

This is the left hand side of the pond. As you can imagine many leaves find their way into the water.

To my surprise I saw these unusual green ball like things floating on the surface. I have never seen this before.

I took another shot, then made my way to the Chestnut Grove

This is the trunk of a Chestnut tree. These trees are over a hundred years old, and still bear  the most delicious chestnuts.

At the end of the line of trees is my studio, where I used to do my art work, and it's still in use, albeit not by me for the same purpose. I do take tea there with Paula sometimes in the afternoons. She loves restoring furniture, and is doing a wonderful job on an antique chest of drawers.

A closer look at my studio. It looks as though the electric lights are on, but it's the sun on the other side, shining through the windows.

Look what I found on another Chestnut tree. By the way, Furniture made from the wood of the Chestnut tree is the most expensive furniture to buy in Portugal.

Another image by my studio. On the left you can just see a stone table, and benches,made for picnicking in the shade of the trees.

I then walked by the grape vines. The leaves are now a deeper shade of red, and have  Morning Glory vines intertwined with them.

Now, on the sunny side of my studio,  I was delighted to see that the old Fig tree had lost all it's large leaves, which makes it easier to see birds, and thanks to Phil Slade I know now that this bird is a first Autumn female Serin.

The streaked feathers, and upturned beak had me baffled.

The feather pattern on it's back is also interesting.

I am used to seeing the brightly coloured Serins in Summer but not
a first Autumn youngster  which is quite pale by comparison.

The orange tree on the left only produces bitter oranges for making marmalade.

These two Wood Pigeons have a nest on top of the Conifer. I know because I have been observing them for some time now with my binoculars, and took some photos  as I was walking down.

"Where did he go"?

 He went for a drink of-course! :=)

By 5.15pm it was already getting dark, and I took these two photos  before Paula and I left.

I enjoyed the walk, but felt tired, good tired, and slept well that night.


Richard Pegler said...

Greetings, Sonjia! This is the most wonderful collection of autumn images that I have seen so far this year, and I am even more impressed by them all having been taken on your property! How fortunate you are, having all this beauty close to hand.

Sorry, I can't help with the ID of that bird, but I expect others will be able to help. I think that the green 'balls' in your pond might be 'bubbles', caused by methane gas from the rotting vegetation in the bottom of the pond, getting trapped under blanket weed at the surface of the pond. Perhaps you could harness the methane as a natural energy source !? ;-}

Take great care and stay safe - - - Richard

David M. Gascoigne, said...

I have very much enjoyed this excursion with you, Sonjia. I feel as though I have been taken on a conducted walk by the grande dame of an estate. The area where you live is utterly beautiful and there is so much of nature on display. Your description of the chestnut trees has given me a longing for them, fresh out of the fire, so hot you burn your fingertips getting to the meat. The last time I had the pleasure of buying chestnuts from a street vendor was in Slovenia a few years ago. They were wonderful! It is one of the ironies of life that I have visited Madeira, and even Angola in its last days as a Portuguese colony, but never mainland Portugal. I doubt that I shall ever rectify that omission at this stage in my life, but I will continue to enjoy the country through your eyes. Hugs from Canada. David

Marit said...

Hello Sonjia,

Your photos are so beautiful. I love to see the leaf covered driveway. Autumn is a very nice time of year if the weather is good. The colors are really fantastic. The green balls looks very strange.

Hugs from Marit

MadSnapper said...

i can hear the leaves as you walk through them and see all the beauty the two of you saw, your studio is beautiful and I would love to live in it with all the sunlight coming through all the windows.. beautiful colors to walk through.. I did not know you are and artist which explains your eye for photos.. what kind of art did you do in the studio

Betty said...

Lovely pictures, not sure what your little bird is but am interested to know :)

sami niilola said...

Awesome place to walk and enjoy nature.

DeniseinVA said...

Fabulous photos and very interesting narrative. Good to hear you are still having warm weather. Your part of the world looks gorgeous!

La Biosfera de Lola said...

Hola Sonjia, hermoso paseo el que nos dejas hoy, todo es hermoso, los árboles aún están preciosos, las aves, hongos y lo que me parecen huevos de rana es maravilloso. Y las fotos espectaculares. Un fuerte abrazo.

Mike Attwood said...

What a place to live, Sonjia. I cannot be sure of the bird, the answer is in its size. A young bird, immature, juvenille plumage points towards a robin, if larger a song thrush. Take care.

Jenn Jilks said...

That is a beautiful post! Such colours and textures.
That just looks like algae, the green bubbles.

Irma said...

What a wonderful series of autumn photos.
The bird you don't know the name of is a song thrush (Turdus philomelos) if I've seen it right.
Greetings Irma

eileeninmd said...

What a lovely post, I enjoyed your walk and all the lovely images.
I love all the trees and the view down the driveway! Take care, have a happy day!

LEN said...

Your photos have given me such an insight into your life on the farm. You will miss it if you decide to move. I would stay there as long as you are able. What a beautiful place to live and very skilfully captured on camera by your experienced eye. You have a wonderful ability to see something and capture it Sonjia. Cannot help with the bird's name but I have replenished my feeders today and will keep a watch out for anything similar.

Teresa said...

Un precioso paseo por tu finca, con fotos maravillosas. Besos.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Haha, it was 5 p.m., no wonder the wood pigeon was ready for a drink. (A joke: 5 p. m. is typicallly cocktail hour around here as our evening meal is earlier than it is for you I imagine). ....
that entire walk was so beautiful -- I love the Autumn colors and can almost hear the rustling of the leaves along that path you walked. Your old workshop (now Paula's) is wonderfully located and must have been hard for you to give up (??). It seems magical and would surely enhance an artist's creativity!! And the birds -- it is nice when the leaves fall and you can see them better!

This N That said...

Beautiful place you have..Love your studio..Looks cozy..Your bird looks like some kind of Thrush..Have a lovely Thanksgiving...Enjoy those walks on that beautiful property..

Rhodesia said...

Thanks for the visit and the kind comment, Christelle will be delighted.
Your photos are stunning and the autumn colours are amazing. As for the bird, difficult without knowing how big it is but my first reaction was a juvenile robin. That though would mean it was quite small, so maybe Song Thrush is correct.
Have a great week and I hope you are warmer than we are here in France.
Very best wishes Diane

Lowcarb team member said...

... and through your wonderful photographs I enjoyed the walk too.
So much to see and appreciate, the Autumn colours are wonderful.

Wishing you a good week ahead.

All the best Jan

Phil Slade said...

Hi Sonia. It's a first autumn female Serin. I imagine that Serins are very common where you live but you are more used to seeing the brighter ones of summer. The bill only looks upturned from the angle of your photos.

Nancy Chan said...

I love to join you in your walk. Beautiful photos of autumn colours. I wonder what those green like balls on the water are. Are they algae? After a good walk, you will get a good night's rest.

Jeevan said...

I love your studio and the vicinity it is located! So pretty and colorful fall scenes and the light across the same turn spectacular. Peaceful sunsetting. I enjoy all the photos from your farm. Have a nice weekend

Nick Morgan said...

What a beautiful farm you have Sonjia. It is so lovely to see all the trees and varied landscapes. It must be so good for wildlife. I love all the rocky outcrops and they way you can use them. I would love to have more rocks here. I love the way they warm up in the sun and all of the small plants that find little cracks to grow in.
The ground here is made up of stone, lots of stone, but it is rounded alluvial stone, averaging about 20cm diameter. It is a nightmare for planting anything, digging holes or hammering in fence posts!
We had a terrible storm last night but didn't lose any large trees. Just a lovely old Rowan and an equally old Holly and my favourite yellow buddleia blew over. That is a real favourite with autumn butterflies, so I hope I can save it.

Rostrose said...

It was truly a wonderful walk in a wonderful environment. And I understand you, I can't resist such autumn moods and have to take many, many photos, too ;-) I would consider these unusual green ball like things floating on the water to be algae ... It's great that you have such a beautiful studio even if you no longer use it in its original form.
Happy weekend
from the new grandma Traude

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

The leaf covered walk photos look like picture postcards! WOW! It's beautiful there at this time of year. I love that little bird and how nice to get a good ID. Phil has helped me many times with my mystery birds!

eileeninmd said...

Hello Sonjia,
Beautiful views of the colorful trees, the drive and the pretty studio. I am glad Phil was able to help id your bird. It is a pretty one, I love the marking on the Wood Pigeons too. A lovely walk and photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a happy weekend!

Tom said...

...WOW. the tree lined drive is a delight! The leaves look wonderful on the ground. Take care and have a wonderful week ahead.

RedPat said...

Such a beautiful collection of shots! I enjoyed that walk so much!

bill said...

What a wonderful stroll through nature. The trees and leaves look lovely in the fall colours. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day.

Powell River Books said...

You have an amazing property with beautiful trees. What a wonderful place to walk and to have a studio with a view like that must be inspiring. - Margy

Bob Bushell said...

A great showing of all of nature, I love the Serin, beautiful. Thanks Sonjia.

Yvonne said...

How fortunate you are to live where you are able to take this walk often. I enjoyed seeing everything you see through your photographs of your amazing landscape. You asked me a few questions almost two months ago, and I apologize for letting them escape my memory until now.

I suffered a pinched nerve where I sit, and had to go through a period of three steroid shots over three months time to help relieve the excruciating pain, plus some pretty potent pain killer medications. I had to eventually retire from my job, as it took over a year before I could sit without pain developing. Since then, I have to be careful not to have a flareup of the pain again. When I do have a flareup, its a secession of shots until the pain goes away.

I also have degenerative disk disease in my neck which is why I no longer do crafts and art. Bending my neck for long periods creates pain that takes a while to go away when I take a break. Of course, I push things to the limit quite often, as to do nothing is not how I chose to live.

As I remember, my grandpa came from Portugal as a young man to live in California. He had a sister who moved to Brazil, but if he had any other relatives, I never heard him speak of them. Dad told me that his father wanted to wipe out all associations with Portugal and just be an American, so he never taught any of his children to speak Portuguese, as far as I know. Dad didn't speak it, and I never heard it spoken when we visited family, but we did go to some Portuguese picnic gatherings in a park when visiting Grandma and family outside of Fresno, California. It included many friends from the Portuguese community that did speak the language.

So...I'm half Portuguese, but that is about it. To visit Portugal was a desire of mine for many years, but I could never quite make it happen. Now I just feel content to be alive :)

I do love your blog very much. It give me a glimpse into my heritage that I would otherwise not have.

carol l mckenna said...

Wonderful photo walk with you ~ gorgeous photography ~ love our feathered friends ~ Xo

Happy Holidays,

A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Linda said...

Beautiful images! I saw your comment on another blog and I want to wish you good luck and speedy healing.

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