Here is a photo of a cork oak tree taken from my morning’s walk in the countryside of Posadas (Cordova province in Andalusia). The photo’s a bit dark because rain’s expected (at long last, we’re having serious drought here!). You can see the red-brown trunk which has been exposed after the cork has been harvested.
Pigs love to eat the acorns that drop from its boughs:-
To see more photos of the oak trees and the PAINTINGS I do on the cork, you can click here.
The other day I braved the 37° C temperatures (= 98,6 F) to go for a short stroll along the country track that leads out of my home and wends its way past other fincas…
The stony track passes land populated bycork oak trees. They have been stripped of their bark — a process which occurs every seven years. (When the trucks do take the chunks of cork away, some inevitably fall onto the path, so I pick some of them up and use them for painting:-)
The fresh bark underneath is a lovely red oxide.
Flowers of the carrot family and other cousins of these umbelliferous plants stand proud above the baby blue and pale purple scabious.
The dark seed in the centre contrasts with the white flower, almost seeming as if there is an insect poised there.
The grasses that were bluish-green only a couple of weeks ago have already gone to seed as they are now dry and bristly. (Best to wear trousers and not shorts like I did!)
The fragrant myrtle is also in flower. Reminds me of William Blake’s poem In a Myrtle Shade:
Why should I be bound to thee,
O my lovely Myrtle-tree?
Love, free Love, cannot be bound
To any tree that grows on ground…
Some trees have died, but make beautiful, natural sculptures with their twisted, distorted branches and outstretched gnarled fingers.
Cows gaze mutely at me as I pass by…
…simply turning their heads inquiringly.
There is a small, whitewashed cottage where the track bends to the right — it peeps out from behind the majestic cork tree.
Through a clearing between the cork and olive trees and the pistacia bushes, you can just spy the castle of Almodóvar del Río in the distance.