Spanish Sunday Summary

Driving up to the finca, I was stunned with the cotton wool ball clouds that suddenly appeared. Must be the time of year.

They suddenly came in from one side, settled over the hills and looked so tangible. Fluffy and brilliant white against the blue sky.

I should have posted these on Cloudsmovingin, but they are on here instead. Along with a few others.

Taking this pic, I thought how wonderfully exotic it is to be on an autovia with signs for Cordoba, Granada and Sevilla. Sounds so much more glamourous than Leeds, Wakefield and Dewsbury.

Where to go? Such choices

My remaining chickens were well, although complaining that they wanted some fresh corn and wheat. Which we duly bought.

El, we never did give him a proper name, who is at least five years old, maybe six or even seven? We got him from a local gypsy.


I was trying to take pix of his spurs as the length of them denotes their age. His are long. But on the earlier pic (link above) they are barely visible.

Before El we actually bought a cockerel. His spurs were much longer than those of young El, so he clearly wasn’t young. He didn’t last long either.

But El and Jimena are rather like a fratchety old couple, scratching around the chicken shed together. And when she gets tired of his attention she goes and hides in her den that he can’t get into because he is too big.

Jimena is at least eight, nearer to nine. She still lays eggs.


And for those of you who commiserated with me about my ferns on Everypic here is the successful interloper who seems to be thriving without my loving care.

And successfully growing up through

To round off the summary with a neat ending, ie back to more clouds, pix of the famous Gib Levanter. Well probably not famous to anyone who doesn’t live in Gib.

The Levanter over Gib viewed from La Linea

In summary, the breeze/wind from the east brings with it moisture, hits the eastern face of the Rock, then condenses and forms a cloud above it. So everywhere around Gib can have beautiful sunshine and blue skies, yet in the city, we have a cloud hanging over us. Quite useful in a way as it does avoid having endless sunshine.

Today’s weather is described as mostly cloudy, haze and relative humidity of 88%.

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33 comments on “Spanish Sunday Summary

    • Jimena actually is a beautiful, but small chicken. I love her plumage. As for El, his feathers change from week to week, sometimes his tail feathers are blue and green, he’s obviously feeling old this week as they are grey and white!

      The story was in two or three parts actually, I just linked to the last one to show a picture of him five years ago.


      • How long do chickens live? I’d love to have some but a neighbor lost all of hers to a hawk, so it doesn’t seem feasible. They were very sweet, too. They’d sit at our feet and fluff up their feathers when they wanted to be petted.


        • It really varies. A bit like people I suppose! Jimena is around nine now. We got her at point-of-lay age (16/18 weeks) in Jan 2004 along with four others. The oldest one didn’t last too long, the next oldest managed a bit longer (I’m talking maybe four or five years? We had one the same type as Jimena, but she tried to escape from the cockerel flew out of a gap in the netting over the run into the jaws of the dog. She survived that (Fearless was her name!) so we put her back inside, but should have isolated her as the cockerel jumped on her yet again and finished her off. Shock I think! Otherwise she wd probably still be alive too. We got a grey one and a white one later but they were rubbish. Didn’t lay much, one ate all the eggs, and they didn’t live long – a year or so?

          Our local egg producer gave us some of his cast-offs. They were a waste of space too. Didn’t lay and didn’t live long. Until a year or two ago, we had one of the other originals still with us (Negrita – she was black), so she was probably around seven when she died.

          What’s really important is getting a tough strain. So the gypsy cockerel is pretty healthy (touch wood), and the small bantams like Jimena are good too. Chicken man in our county town had some in last time we went, so we may get a couple more.

          Our local predators tend to be cats and rats (Jimena will eat baby mice :D). We netted over the outside space but that was really to stop Jimena and Fearless flying off. As they are small and light they do fly and I don’t like wing clipping. Space is also key. When people tell you that you can put 20 chickens in a small space, don’t listen to them!! You can get moveable arks which are secure and means you change the area of the garden they destroy, I’d be dubious about the space they have though. Ours have permanent access to fresh air and outside space, deep straw in the shed, a perch to roost on in the shed, and a den for Jimena to escape from El, lay eggs, go broody etc. I should have made a blog post out of this reply!


          • An omnivore I suspect. We feed them on corn and wheat mixed, plus greens out of the garden (rocket and spinach), and all the veg trimmings (except potato), plus next doors sometimes give us a few bits and pieces too :) If you look at chickens free-ranging – or any birds in fact – then they will eat grubs as well as greens. I guess the classic pic of the (early) bird with the worm says it all. I would rather she was vegetarian of course, but it’s her choice and if she catches something tasty, who am I to say NO!


  1. El and Jimena are gorgeous, I’d love to keep chickens, but the deeds of the house forbid it.
    I guess the levanter is a welcome relief from the sun for you, but my heart sinks when I see clouds like that :-(, the fluffy white ones are nice though :-)


    • I do like them. ‘Hello chickens,’ I say when I wander in to the corral. (They have a shed and an open air run :) ) Cluck, cluck, cluck cluck, they say.

      We had a some deeds like that at one point, no pigs, poultry or pigeons I think it was. But with finca rights in Spain we are laughing – and best to keep up to the usage so we don’t lose them. Three or four of our immediate neighbours have them too.

      It’s not a rain cloud though, it’s just a local micro-climate thing. I do think it looks good hanging over the Rock in the midst of blue skies elsewhere.


    • Sounds a bit like the ones in Andalucía signing for Portugal, or in the north for France. Although when we drove down through years ago, we didn’t even know we had crossed the border from France to Spain, it was so poorly signed.


  2. When I was young in teens and possibly earlier, living in the New Forest, we kept Bantams, and they gave us a good supply of eggs, only we had to use twice as many. For a little while we had a rat problem, but my dad sorted them..


    • My mum’s dad had bantams too. Great layers. I reckon Jimena is a bantam as she is so small. We had another but …. In fact our local chicken person has some more in at the moment. They are the most expensive chicks to buy in Andalucía.

      Partner’s step-grandfather had bantams too, and his gran raised them from day olds in the kitchen.

      Next time I do a chicken post, I’ll try and remember to add more links to previous ones, as I’ve done a few.

      We had a rat or two at one point. Pippa sorted one, proudly greeting us swinging it by its tail (it was very dead). Never let it be said big dogs are not good ratters.


    • Thanks. I tend to have a lot of those pix as I get chance to take pic for once out of the vehicle when it is not moving, ie stuck in the queue :D Actually there wasn’t much of a queue but at least we weren’t travelling at 80/90 kmph.

      I don’t mind the rain. Leeds is a bit short on Moorish architecture though. Actually the first time I stayed in Seville (December) it absolutely chucked it down. We were camping of course.


  3. El & Jimena are great. I have a dream of keeping chickens… It’s funny when I was a kid on occasion we ventured what seemed like far north for holidays where it was tropical and they grew bananas… to Coffs Harbour… about an hour from TA. When I see the Coffs sign and the remaining touristy landmarks now I still feel that sense of anticipation I did when I was a kid. Clouds are interesting… I like a bit of everything weather… too much of the same thing gets a bit tedious.


    • They are cute. We’ve had quite a few over the years now, and Jimena was one of the first ones we got. I named her after a Spanish soap character who was small, dark, pretty and quite timid, which fitted Jimena perfectly. But as happens with names, she soon decided she didn’t like that character and started bossing every other chicken around :D

      It’s funny how road signs take on meanings. There aren’t any for Gib until you are nearly there. Something to do with the Spanish not acknowledging it I suppose.

      I like a bit of everything weather too. Endless sun is soooooo boring although A loves it.


  4. Side note, not sure how/why you dropped off my reader thing so I had to re-follow.. WP baffles me @ times!

    Love the chicken shots..My brother used to raise chickens and there was one in particular I loved, a female that was so laid back she barely clucked..


    • WordPress? Reader? Let’s not go there. My rule of thumb is to check out people when they comment on mine, that way at least I figure if they are on line I can check up and see if there is a new post from fave blogs. Or just check them out anyway.

      Jimena clucks a lot. She is very lippy, bless :) El always greets us with a doodle doo when we pull up in the vehicle. A bit like geese really, quite a good guard bird if there is any other noise outside too.


  5. Hey – that’s a nice little fern – keep ignoring it. (ferns go well with plumbago…I had to just hack our plumbago back to allow more winter sun to come in the window…RC’s not the only one who like the sunny room sometimes.)
    Love the clouds!


    • I was delighted when I found it growing there. For free :) Not sure what happened to it’s partner that was also trying to make a new life with us. Must have another look next time.
      And yes, it will soon be plumbago pruning time here too. I just cutting back a) flowers or b) buds, so I put it off as long as possible, or do the odd bit of selective pruning as and when.
      The clouds were quite wonderful. Time of year I guess but I’m not a cloudologist.


      • We’ve had a few cool days, but now back to very watm – so the plants think it’s time to bloom and grow again – we need to prune a bit, but if we do, all the new growth will be tender and get really wacked by a sudden frost…and more of the plant will be damaged- possibly killed. So having to sit on hands until January – winter is bound to come eventually…


        • Frost!! We don’t get that. The nearest we get to seeing it is a little in the ditch early in the morning before the sun is up. So I don’t have those complications to consider. Looks like we’ll both be pruning in Jan.


  6. I Love these kinds of posts MS.
    Traveling vicariously to your country through your photos is a charming few minutes holiday.
    The cloud formations remind me quite a bit of what happens above the large protruding rocks that descend out of the Pacific Ocean just off shore. They dot the shore line all along the Oregon coast and I suspect the clouds form above the rocks out of similar circumstances.

    Really lovely post MS, enjoyed it immensely. ~ BB


  7. The clouds are gorgeous — I love that puffed up kind. The Levanter is interesting … I looked it up last time you mentioned it.

    Saw, higher up in the comments here, something about the reader and had to re-follow. I have the same problem. Hardly any of those I follow appear in the reader, even though I still am a follower and they do have posted. That whole thing seems to be screwed up?! Maybe I have to go back to «follow by email» instead.


    • I was totally mesmerised with the clouds. So very fluffy, and so low down too.

      I look at reader, but tend to check out individual blogs, and if I’ve missed posts, just back-read. If I think I haven’t seen a post from someone for a while, I’ll try and check them out to see if reader has been playing up! It’s a good system when it works :D


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