Now that I have more time I realized that I didn’t post these lovely pictures of the almond blossom at the end of January. It was the weekend after the Friday on which I was fired, and the weekend before I moved house, but this walk was something I had wanted to do for years. You can imagine, when you only have weekends (and one of those days is, inevitably, taken up in cleaning, shopping and all the boring stuff), and short, Winter days what a short window you have to do this. And, sure enough, just over a week later, storms with orange-alert winds and heavy rains stripped the trees of these gorgeous blossoms – phew, was I happy that I had decided to go! It was a brilliant day, with clear, oh-so-blue skies, and the trees were groaning with the weight of the blossoms. It was early. The festival in Santiago del Teide (near to where these photos were taken) wasn’t for another week or so. In the end we didn’t walk so much as amble, because there were so many photo-stops!
At this stage I had bought my new camera, but hadn’t even opened the box!!! I knew that once opened it would take over my life, and I knew that I had to finish off the packing and complete the move and unpack enough to get by before I could risk it! So these were taken with my very basic, little Kodak, which had no view finder. It was afternoon and Winter, so the sun was low, and looking at the screen sometimes I could see nothing at all, and had to guess……..very lucky guesses on this day! I went with my friends, Colleen and Pablo, and Colleen’s battery packed in, which meant that she very kindly took charge of Trixy, which did make it easier for me to snap away- it is well-nigh impossible to snap around Trix!
And the added advantage (apart from their delightful company) of going with Pablo and Colleen was that he explained to me how these almond plantations came to be here. Apparently, almonds were brought to the islands by the Conquistadors, yes, the same ones who went on from here to seek for treasures in the Americas, and had been taken to Spain by the Moors centuries before that – you see how, even then, there was a kind of globalization, how cultures mix and grow. There are still commercial plantations here, but, I imagine, far less than there once were. Where we were snapping looked a bit abandoned, as you can see, many of the trunks are ancient and twisted. Between the trees were rows of cabbage and other vegetables (I couldn’t get too close because I didn’t want Trixy to maybe do any damage), looking like the allotments I remember in the UK.
Going back to Colleen and Pablo’s afterwards for tea and cake I snapped the sunset from their balcony….lovely end to a lovely day!
January 11, 2011 at 4:23 am
Oh, Trixy! It is hard for me to concentrate on the almond trees when I think there may be a photo of your adorable pooch! However, the blossom is beautiful, and they and the trees remind me of cherry trees. I’ve never seen them bloom in DC, but I’ll get there one of these days. Back to the almonds. Your photos give me a new appreciation for one of my favorite snacks!
January 11, 2011 at 9:41 am
If you think globalization is something new – almonds were brought here by the conquistadors at the turn of the 15th/16th century, they were taken to Spain by the Moors during their 800 year rule of the Iberian penninsular. Lots of Spanish (and hence Canarian) sweet dishes have almonds as their base, and those sweet-making traditions were then taken by the Conquistadors also to South America. It’s always been a small word!
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