Eucalyptus …

Our trees have conquered the world. On my travels I occasionally crush a few leaves to transport me to home and I’m always amused to see alien creatures nestled in Aussie foliage. White Storks for example …

But if this next tree really belongs in Oz then the bird clearly belongs in Sub-Saharan Africa …

and the photograph was taken by the side of an irrigation channel in Andalucia!

A colony of Black-headed Weavers has established itself here. The earliest records are from Portugal and presumed to be aviary escapees, they seem to have spread from there.

 

El Rocio …

Modern roads lead to the edge of El Rocio and then stop. In the town the roads are sandy, much better for the horses.

photo GHD

Although the town is small it’s currently preparing itself for an influx of about a million pilgrims. They will walk or ride or arrive in old fashioned caravans  drawn by tractors. A few will come in carts drawn by bullocks. The women will be dressed in their flamenco finery. The roads will be blocked with traffic, some already are. No cars will be parked in the town.

They will be coming to pay their respects to the Virgen Del Rocio or Virgin of the Dew but they may well have a party while they’re there. The tradition dates back to the 13th Century.

Mass will overflow from the lovely old church. A grandstand has been erected in the square to hold some of the overflow.