Maraña: Spring snow and sunshine
Monday, May 17, 2010 2:36:01 PM
Maraña isn't a big village, although its people are scattered around the world. I discovered on the weekend that a couple of them had gone to work in Australia - something I didn't know before.
At Easter time there was snow falling, although (unlike a couple of years ago) it only stuck to cars, leaving the grass green. But when we arrived on Friday night there was snow in the front garden - which had broken the tulips I planted, squashed the capellejas (actually tehy are narcissus, but in the Val de Buron they have local names in each village, it seems), and covered what little could be seen of the mountain.
On Friday night it was so cold it snowed. That happens, but not so often in the middle of May. So instead of seeing the remaining chunks of snow melted away by rain, they grew.
Saturday it snowed. On and off all day. That doesn't happen, in theory. Grey cloudy weather is good for work, for keeping the wood supply up to the kitchen stove (the main heating, since the open fireplace is horrendously inefficient and not actually very effective - although in summer that is a virtue) and good for long lunches and another glass of wine.
Sunday, by contrast, was a day of brilliant sunshine. Having planned to spen two day planting a garden, I ended up spending just one. I didn't achieve everything I wanted to. But I moved the snow to the side of the house (the pathway to the side garden was already blocked by snow, so why not just keep it all there?), cleaned out and planted most of the garden beds (various kinds of peas, beetroot, carrots and some herbs, to add to the parsnips, garlic, and herbs that are already there).
A long day included a look at Riosol - up the valley, to there is the chapel and house I am planning to celebrate my impending transition to middle age. Snow is still lying in drifts all around - the grass has taken over as the majority feature of the ground, but still only by a slim margin.
And coming home through Las Señales where there is almost complete snow cover still (enough to ski on, at least) just beating the Cierzo through the saddle gave incredible views of the cloud-topped valley still full of snow drifts. The mountains silhoutted against the setting sun, around the dam between Lillo and Boñar were spectacular - not the same as the daytime snow-covered version I have in a frame on my desk, but strong enough to stay in my memory just as well.
The last memorable sight of the weekend was a deer on the side of the road, near the animal park below the dam. It's the first time I have seen on so low. Dropping to the valley floor just as twilight turned to night, it seemed like a clear close to the weekend. All that remained was another four and a half hours of driving, and back to the daily work grind, waiting for the time to see how the garden grows, and work on it a bit more. There is always weeding, I want to enlarge the planting beds and get some more things planted, and of course getting the scythe to the grass again is a task that comes back when the snow is away.