Tuesday 31 October 2023


In late August on a Monday morning my daughter Eva, and my grandson, and I went for a drive to discover where a new riding school is situated higher up the mountain. We eventually found it, tucked away in a narrow lane with a huge entrance gate. Here are a few photos taken by myself but mainly by Pedro. We were told that equestrian events are held at the weekends, so Eva and I agreed to return to watch the competitions, and see the horses being put through their paces which we still haven't done yet, but will now I have more free time. We walked around and took quite a few photos. and on the whole we were suitably impressed with the installation, and as I love horses it was a treat to see them looking so well cared for. It is still pouring down with rain here, so no chance of recent photos, but I still have a few in the archives.

Approaching the Riding School.

The young girl had a few treats in her hand which she shared with the horses.

They then followed her back to the stables.

Beautiful all white horse.

There were more beauties in their stalls

I watched a tender moment when the stallion walked towards the pregnant mare and they caressed each other for quite some time. 

Ready for a wash and brush up.

We did take some more photos but they didn't turn out very well, so one weekend when we return I will share some more. Although my blog is primarily a nature blog, on occasion I do share something about Portugal and it's traditions, and other things that may be of interest. I hope you have enjoyed my visit to the Riding School That's all for now, take care everyone.

Tuesday 24 October 2023

October 2023

October weather has been foul, plummeting from the 30 degree temperatures we had been enjoying to a mere 8 degrees, accompanied by violent storms, electricity cuts as power lines are down. This has been a source of harassment for me and for the cable men who are having to cope with the torrential rain and high winds. The heavy rainfall flooded houses and other roadside establishments  and even some hospitals were affected by flooding and patients had to be transferred to other hospitals. Living as I do on a mountainside this did not affect me, but trees were uprooted on the property and the rain has prevented me from taking photos and going out on the balcony. My swing has been covered and zipped up securely probably until next Spring. Days are dark, and my old bones do not work well in this climate. However music has entered my life again to my eternal gratitude because since my husband's demise two years and six months ago, I have not been able to listen to music, but last week whilst Eva and I, were cleaning out drawers and cupboards, Eva found a small transistor radio which had belonged to my late husband and it was in working order so Eva put it on my bedside table, One evening I decided to listen to the news, but instead my room was filled with beautiful orchestral music and thankfully, that horrid psychological barrier that had shut down my desire to listen to "our" music fell apart, and since then I have started to enjoy our favourite pieces of music again and it feels both soothing intoxicating and healing.
In September I did take a few photos on my balcony and in the garden. I have now finished the physiotherapy for my wrist and arm, and can do most things I couldn't do before. Even open the front door.:=)

There have been several visits from Greenfinches on my balcony.


Two images of a Flycatcher.


Female Great-tit

Male Great -tit

Plant in bud in the Garden


Blue daisy flowers on my balcony.

Three  images of the pretty Blue-tit.

The Holly Acorn.

This mushroom looks harmless but I leave them alone, as I don't know how to distinguish the safe ones to eat, and the poisonous ones.

To finish, another Greenfinch

Thursday 12 October 2023


Today I would like to focus mainly on the small butterfly on the Geraniums from my last post. I wasn't sure of the ID, but my good friend Nick Morgan, told me what it is. He has a butterfly blog and is very knowledgeable about butterflies like his father before him. A few other faithful visitors to my blog also mentioned it in somewhat unfavourable terms, without giving me the ID. I did some research of my own and discovered that it is considered a pest. It is named the Geranium Bronze, and is a native of Southern Africa, it has however been introduced to Mediterranean and Europe where it has spread as a pest of cultivated Geraniums. It is believed that it was accidentally imported on Geranium plants.

The Geranium Bronze has distinctive underside markings.

You can see why it was named the Geranium Bronze. This is the male, because of the strongly checkered fringes.

You can also see the damage done to the new buds in this image. The caterpillars burrow into the buds when they are small. As it grows larger I may see the pinkish green caterpillar on the bud. So far I haven't noticed any, but will be on the lookout for any new stages of development.I know they are there, because the Geranium leaves have many holes, which they didn't have before, and the new buds that held so much promise have all dried up ,become brittle and fallen. It was exciting to discover this tiny butterfly, but now I know that my Geraniums are suffering, it's exceedingly disappointing,...

....and it is such an attractive tiny butterfly.

Saturday 7 October 2023


In my last post I wrote that I would try to make a more varied post and have managed to do just that, practically without moving from the balcony. Nearly all these photos were taken on and from my balcony.  The weather continues to be hot, up to 30 degrees in the afternoon, but is a very pleasant temperature in the mornings when I take all my photos, mostly from a sitting position on the three seater swing.  

I have my lunch outside and have my camera handy by my side just in case a photo opportunity occurs, other times I capture something of interest through the window or during a short walk. 

Large Wasp in the shade.

Two interesting captures of the same species.


Geranium flower, one of many on my balcony

For some reason, this tiny butterfly likes to alight on the Geranium leaves. Several of them at a time flit around.  

Coal Tit in the sun, captured during lunch time

Two captures of an early morning Squirrel visitor.

A Shell Moth resting in the shade.

A large Red Underwing Moth on the ceiling of my balcony.

Two captures of the same Coal Tit.

I have seen this Woodpecker several times on the same tree in the same place. I saw it yesterday, but it's too far away to get good shots.

The same applies to the Common Buzzard which flies too high, and I'm too slow to capture it in flight as it whizzes past.

Male and female Grasshoppers near the wood pile in the garden.

Two images of the Great Tit.

Pyracantha or Firethorn in the garden and a Lang's Short-tailed Blue.

The Crested Tit.

These Morning Glory blooms caught my eye as they had grown in the middle of a low hedge, and looked stunning amongst the leaves.

A  brown  Shield Bug

Leaves hanging over the garage door

A Red Admiral butterfly.

Another Shield Bug.

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