Adventures in Paradise

Despite the significant drop in temperature from yesterday, and the overwhelming threat of rain from our “hit and miss” weather forecast, I bundled up in my rain coat, grabbed my camera plus walking stick, for a trek up part of the Serra da Monte Figo. It’s one of my favourite small loops close to home, one which I had not taken recently, which meant I’d see a completely different landscape from my last walk there.

Flowers, flowers, and more flowers! I had to stop frequently simply to allow my eyes and brain to take it all in. Tiny barely visible splashes of colour then suddenly a field, as far as you can see, dancing wildly with poppies, daisies, and other hidden gems.

A short distance down the Pousada lane you can turn right and start to head up a small (dead-end) mountain road. As I made the turn I noted the field near the small house that sits just below where we live. The field was full of daisies, gently frolicking in the wind. If only I could have captured the movement in my photo. A perfect thing to focus on and meditate.

I started up an old dried up river ravine, one I have previously explored, however a farmer was burning old branches and the air became a little thick with smoke. It made me decide to cut up a hillside and take another path. WOW!! I consider myself in shape but I was huffing and puffing by the time I reached the intersecting path!

The higher I climbed, the darker the sky turned. It was either turn back or keep going and being the adventurer I am, I continued. I was almost at the top of the mountain when suddenly there was a huge shadow that came over me, which I took to be a storm cloud until I looked up.

Not one but two of them!!!! It’s called a cinereous vulture, or black vulture, and it’s the largest Old World vulture in Europe, has a wing span of 10 feet!!! They were hovering, hardly moving, and unnerving!! I took my walking stick and put it into the air and starting moving it in a wide circle while calling out. They checked me out for a bit, came a tiny bit lower, and then in unison, flew off! I do believe my pace quickened just a little after that.

Next thing I noticed was the ongoing darkening of the sky followed by a few raindrops. Walk quicker, I thought!

The short story……I got soaked. By the time I reached home I was dripping from head to toe, my jeans stuck to me like pantyhose!! A sight to behold and apparently laughed at by he who shall not be named!!!

I did manage to take a couple of more special shots before I arrived at the house, one of my favourites and the other for a friend who could use a splash of colour in her life right now.

My favourite “Jesus trees”
For Patricia, just around the corner from our property

As I rounded the final corner and was heading onto our street, Rua do Pé da Cruz, I looked up and this was my perspective…I thought it lovely.

10 thoughts on “Adventures in Paradise

  1. For once the weather forecast was right. It seems Portugal is enjoying a rainy spring making everything so lush.
    Weather here is still cool and after awhile in Portugal, everything seems so dull, grey and morose. Mind you the crocuses are up and soon daffies and forsythia. Spring is slowly erupting.


    1. I am going to miss all the colour once we head out of here in a few weeks. That said, I love spring in Canada and will look forward to whatever Mother Nature offers up.


  2. As I sit here with my morning coffee, giggling at the thought of you being carried off through the air by 2 hawks, I am always struck by how beautiful the simple things in life are and so happy you enjoy every day. Like you, I love the flowers. I often recognize some that you post from my days of living in the Caribbean. Also, had a good visual of a soaking wet but happy Randy. lol Keep living and loving life!! xo


    1. Worse than hawks….vultures!!!!! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bird that large before. It was massive and given there were two, the shadowing was quite extensive. Yes, very happy, and finally dry.


  3. Well that would have been quite the scene, Randy being picked up by 2 vultures! But don’t vultures tend to pick up road kill? And by the way how do you know what wet pantyhose feels like??


    1. LOL……I’ll never tell!!!! It does mostly only eat carrion but not exclusively. They were quite huge and flying so low that it seemed unreal.


  4. Thanks for all the splashes of colour, especially my beloved poppies, so significant these days. They warmed my heart! Loved the vultures…very frightening but they would have had some good eats had you been their dinner!!!
    Enjoy your last few weeks…you will be welcomed home with open arms!


    1. I think the vultures only feast on dead things, I was safe. Happy the poppies achieved their intentions.


  5. Omg Randy you make me laugh. I have a visual of you waving the stick in circles above your head.
    The last two pictures are stunning.
    Keep writing my Pulitzer friend . Hugs


    1. Yes, I must confess, it was funny from an observation point of view I’m certain. When I first looked up I truly thought it was two large kites above my head and I couldn’t figure from where they were coming. Suddenly, when one of the birds swooped a bit, I realized what it was AND saw just how large it was. I’m happy it made you laugh.


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