Last week a reader wrote to tell me that my photo of the horseback rider on the cold, wet mountain trail in Asturias was beautiful, she loved it (thank you again P), but that she wanted to see images of spring because it’s been a hard winter in Toronto, Canada, where she lives.
Since I know what that’s like, I get it. This is urgent.
It’s been almost ten years since I’ve had to endure a Toronto winter. They’re pretty bad, but it’s amazing what you can get used to. But the thing is, these past two winters in Toronto have been particularly bad. Record-setting bad. Lowest-ever temperatures, highest-ever snowfall, the whole bit. Friends and family sent me pictures of whiteout blizzards, and snow drifting up over the roofs of parked cars.
Naturally, since I’m a sensitive, kind, sympathetic soul, I did my part to cheer up friends and family. I sent pictures of me sunning in short sleeves on a patio in January, holding up a glass of golden beer, and smiling in a way that I felt conveyed my deep compassion and solidarity.
Something must have gone wrong with the Internet because for some unfathomable reason, I got emails back from these people containing words and turns-of-phrases that I cannot, for reasons of decency, reprint here. Hmm. Go Figure.
But my readers have spoken, or at least one of them has, anyway, and so here are some images of springtime in Spain.
In late April I was in Cadiz to see some friends, and instead of heading straight back to Madrid, I decided to take two or three days and go the long way, on secondary roads through Huelva, in Andalusia, and then through Extremadura.
The dehesa is a huge area of oak forests in central to southern Spain. It’s kind of like a gigantic wild farm. It provides perfect habitat for livestock such as Iberian pigs, cows, sheep and horses, as well as many native animals and birds.
I took a stick of bread and a few links of fresh chorizo and went for long walks among the cork oaks and flowers. Nightingales filled the air with their quirky, serene songs. I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be on a warm spring day.