Our final weekend of our 2016/17 winter sojourn was jam-packed with delights. One of the extra special ones was lunch with some lovely friends in the barrocal. We knew lunch would be marvellous in terms of their company, the location and the food but we hadn’t quite realised how memorable it would be because of decision to walk to theirs from the main road. Rather cloudy when we arrived and the rain looked likely so off we trooped with full weather gear in our back packs.
Fortunately we had the camera and binoculars out as we hadn’t gone far when we saw a Papa-figos. The literal translation is fig-eater, but the name you’ll probably recognise is Golden Oriole. Our friends had seen them in the days leading up to our visit, so I was hopeful we might see them too. And we did! A male flew ahead of us, and perched long enough on a tree for us to photograph him. He was quite a distance away which probably explains why he was happily in view as normally they are quite a secretive bird. Isn’t he gorgeous though!
Fortunately he flew off after a while as if he hadn’t we would have been even later for lunch than we were! Was such a delicious lunch. After lunch we were treated to a garden tour. They have done quite a bit of work since we last visited and so we were keen to see what has been achieved. It was during the tour that the next birding moment occurred. High above were two eagles. I even managed to get a close up of one. Well maybe not quite a close-up!
And as the eagles departed they took the cloud with them. What a difference a bit of sunshine makes to the landscape.
I had written everything up to this point this time last week, and had meant to return to it last weekend to finish. But then last Friday Mum rang to say Dad had suddenly deteriorated and so off I was to Somerset (England). Dad never recovered and died last Sunday with us by his bedside, but please don’t be sad. It was a release for him and for us as he had end stage dementia. The Dad I will be remembering left us a year ago, and so this week the dominant feeling is one of relief. He is at peace. He died with a smile on his face, and I now have a smile on mine as I recall what an amazing man he was.
He would have loved this post with my stories of wildlife, gardens and an afternoon with lovely friends and fabulous food and wine. And he would have also loved what we did next, which was taking a walk in the countryside and then on to party. He loved celebrations, and spending time with family and friends. Cheers Dad!