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Showing posts from May, 2019

Reaching for the sky

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On the plains spring is over and the vegetation is blanched blond. Hay has been cut and gathered and harvest is underway. On more lightly grazed land, the dominant shrub is now in flower. A wispy grey-green untidy plant, commonly mistaken by visitors as tamarisk, it is in fact a type of broom called Retama sphaerocarpa. As I drove north from Cáceres, I entered a landscape turned lemon yellow by the sheer abundance of this species, growing on otherwise sparsely vegetated, thin-soiled badlands. It offers a final respite, along with the thistles, before summer closes in, for nectar-seeking insects.

But my journey was taking me further, rising a thousand metres more onto open country, the rounded granite mountain tops of the Gredos. Rising through the soft greens of the deciduous Pyrenean oaks, I arrived at a place where spring was just starting. Indeed, the white brooms so characteristic of the granite berrocal near Trujillo, which is in full bloom in March, were only just starting to fl…