We thought an addition to the pond might be nice and so when we saw some turtles in a small fish tank in a pet shop in Puerto, who looked as though they needed some serious space to swim around in, we couldn`t resist buying one. Only €40. Unfortunately, after he dived into the pond he was never seen again! I may just as well have screwed up two 20 euro notes and dropped them in the pond. Oh well. But just to prove that Tommy Turtle did once exist, here are the pictures.
Goofy, on the other hand, is very frightened of vacuum cleaners, garden hoses and probably a lot of other things as well. He is a complete nutter as can be seen here in his usual relaxation pose. Goofy by name, Goofy by nature.
The really good news is that today we saw the new windmill sails being built in the carpentry shop in Puerto. The timber is Morera which translates as mulberry. This is apparently a very hard wood but also flexible and is/was used for making bows (as in bows and arrows). So we are now looking at around the end of December to have the new sails up. Yay!
Every year on the third Saturday in September the people of Fuerteventura make a pilgrimage, walking from Antigua up the mountainside to the hill town of Betancuria and then down the valley to the church in Vega de Rio Palmas where resides the statue of the Virgen de la Peña (the Virgen and child). Literally thousands of people turn out for the Romería de la Virgen de la Peña. The statue itself is hardly a statue as it´s not much more than 8" tall. Still. they say it has the power to bring rain which, before the arrival of desalination plants, was probably quite useful. We decided to walk from the church, down and along a very hot and dry valley to where the Virgin had been found by a Franciscan monk after being rather carelessly lost for many years. A small chapel was built to mark the place where it was found.
Back at the finca my Agave attenuata has finally decided to flower. This is one of the very few plants which had survived three or four years of neglect before we arrived. Super drought tolerant then, but also a majestic plant.
And these are the individual flowers. Beautiful.
The bananas have started to ripen and I removed one bunch. Unfortunately Wendy doesn't like bananas so I have rather a lot to consume. I tried feeding bananas to the dogs this morning. Pongo was a bit suspicious of it, surprisingly, as normally he will eat absolutely anything. However on the second try they demolished their bananas in seconds. Good, only 36 left to go.
The Island Government´s Department of the Environment distribute native trees and shrubs every year during November. I took advantage of this the first year we were here and I planted a Canarian palm which is now some 10 feet tall.
So we visited their nursery up at Betancuria this year and helped ourselves to ten of their Phoenix canariensis. The hard work is next week when I need to get them planted. Luckily, our cleaner, Rosa, has come back to work for us and I have drafted in her husband Enrique to do some heavy work which will include digging holes for palm trees.
Of course the whole plant distribution thing was completely disorganised and we were kept waiting for ever, as can be seen from the very bored expression on Wendy´s face.
More pictures of the garden.
A new introduction has been the Blood grass Imperata cylindrica rubra which has to be propagated vegetatively. This meant bringing a small plant back in my hand luggage this summer and splitting and growing it on several times. The species enjoys tropical climates so it is quite happy here and so far resists the mealy bug attacks and is wind resistant.
We have started harvesting the beetroot. Another food not on Wendy's list of favourites. Need to check on recipes for banana with beetroot!
The herbs I generally grow in pots in the greenhouse, apart from rosemary and rocket which does very well outside. The mint and basil are really easy to renew, once they get a bit tired. I plant tip cuttings into compost and cover with a half bottle top and they root and grow in no time at all. With any plant cuttings it is important to select plants with strongly growing shoots.
These mint cuttings are about five weeks old.
I am finally getting Goofy to obey the 'down' command. No problem for Pongo as you just need to wave a treat at him and he will get down and sit up in turn in desperation to see what will work!