Sunday, May 01, 2011


Today is the first day of May, supposedly the beginning of summer in Algarve;  we have thunderstorms, torrential rain and it is cold (we have had the wood-burning stove on for the past two days). Maximum daytime temperature today was 15℃. Last weekend (Easter weekend) London was 27℃, the hottest capital in Europe.  What is going on?

Storm clouds over Ria de Alvor

The winter of 2009/10 was the wettest on record (i.e. for 160 years) with almost three times the average annual rainfall. The past winter (2010/11) has not had the same volume of rain but there have been more rainy days  -  in fact, with the exception of a fine spell of weather at the end of February when temperatures reached 25℃, we have had precipitation almost every day since last October.

The reservoirs ("Barragem da Bravura" at Odiáxere) are full........

..... to overflowing

The land cannot take any more water  -  my gardener José João tells me that most of the spring crops (beans, peas, garlic and onions) have failed because they have just rotted in the ground.

Birding and photography have been "off the menu" for the past six months  -  I lose interest when the weather is like this and the light has been abysmal for photography. I believe that the end of this horrendous weather is in sight  -  let us hope so.

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