Summer?

April 14th, 2011 by richard

We’ve now had at least 2 weeks of blazing hot sun with temps in the mid to high twenties. Surely it can’t go on? One thing we are already worried about is our water bill. With no rain in (April!), July, August and September and with loads of thirsty veggies, it soon mounts ups.

We do have a well, but it only stores water and doesn’t access any groundwater. It’s over 5 metres deep but the pipe, which feeds it with rainwater from the roof, comes in quite low down and leaks water out, so my first job was to get down there and cement up the hole. This should mean we can get more water in. Fortunately the ever reliable Luis had a ladder long enough to go all the way down. I can tell you that water was cold!

So with that done, next up was getting the water to the veggies. For that I bought a pump to get water from the well and into a tank on top and then a system of pipes from the tank to the veggies. In addition, I needed small plugs which drip feed the water to the plants. I can tell you, that stretched my Portuguese to the limit (I now know these plugs are called gotejadores – I think. Difficult to spell but impossible to pronounce). Only time will tell whether it saves us any money and whether we get any more rain to replenish the well.

notice the ladder coming out of the well opening.

pipes going to the veggies

Still, with all this gorgeous weather, the plants are loving it.

irises

poppy

Couldn’t resist another photo of that great, Naked man orchid!

Naked man orchid

…and other wildlife…

empty dragonfly cases

frog in small pond

We think this is a toad – and toads only go into the water to mate (which is why we kept finding a big toad in the courtyard last year)

toady

The butterflies are also here, this one is as pretty as a picture underneath too.

southern festoon

We also continue having guests over. Jackie knows Rosie and Debbie from her time volunteering with VSO in Malawi so it was great to have them visit for a few days especially as they hadn’t met up for years.

Jackie, Rosie, Debbie and the hairy one

We’ve also been down the beach, which was glorious and not a soul about.


The bees seem to go from strength to strength. I have a look in the hive every now and then and everything seems to be OK. I have even managed to spot the queen which was great. No more stings either which is a bonus.

This photo is quite interesting (for apiarists only maybe). In the top left there are cells filled with honey, in the bottom right, sealed brood (baby bees waiting to hatch out) and in the lower middle you can just about see small white grubs in the base of the cells. This shows that everything is operating as normal. Now the bottom box is pretty full – of brood, grubs, pollen and honey, they should now turn their attention to filling the top box just with honey!

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