Friday, August 28, 2009

Life Returns

These are the new shoots on a burned eucalyptus one month after the Mojácar fire (which burned several thousand acres, including most of our land). For one month there were no mosquitos or flies or fleas to bite us. Sadly we lost a lot of the more attractive local wildlife like the hares, wild tortoises (tortuga mora) and the local lizards. We saw frightened birds flying off with their wings on fire. We hope that the swifts who nested under our beams managed to fly to safety. We were visited by a few of them in the following days, but they should be in Africa by now.

The house (which miraculously survived the fire) was filled with frightened tree rats, snakes and centipedes but only the centipedes survived the smoke and intense heat. Here is a picture of one my son found in his bed today. These three-inch long fellows give a really nasty bite.

The capers are already growing out of the black ash and the cactus are shedding their skins like snakes to find a new green cactus underneath. The roots of hundred year-old carob trees burnt underground for weeks and the trees will return. The last picture is of the corner of our terrace where you can see the contrast of the green and the burnt on either side of the two wooden horses.

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