Jo’s Monday walk : wild about orchids!

We walked with a certain spring in our step last Monday. Although it was a walk we’d done before, it was our first walk outside of our own small patch of the Algarve, and we were almost giddy with freedom. Starting at Fonte Felipe, in the hills above Sáo Romáo, a well marked trail led to many delights. Most exciting of these, wild orchids!

It’s rocky terrain and, even after a damper than usual winter, many of the river beds are dry. It’s amazing what can thrive in these conditions. Bright blue iris unfurl in the sunlight and the fields are studded with buttons of yellow and fragrant lavender. In a patch of green, a poppy sizzles.

The woodland shade nurtures the lively blue of the wild agapanthus. The trail twists and turns, and we breath in the scents of the flowers as we brush past them. Solid slabs of rock have been hewn from the landscape to create boundaries.

Progress is slow as we examine and exclaim at each new sighting. Jewel brights light the deep green shade. The last time we were here it was early Autumn and the paths were strewn with acorns. Spring has brought abundance to these hills. And then we have our first glimpse! Orchids are shy, and nestle beneath companion trees for protection from prying eyes. But finding one almost invariably leads to another.

We linger till we have spotted every last one. I am reluctant to move on, for I know that the orchids will have evaded capture. I can never produce a crisp image of these tiny things, try as I might. But the images are imprinted upon my brain. A treat to be stored for the future. I hurry to catch up my companions, smiling happily at the wonder of my surrounds.

Small white cistus dot the landscape, amid a spiky yellow shrub, not unlike broom. We have to watch our footing as the trail starts to descend, loose rocks being something of a hazard. But this isn’t a walk to rush, for there are surprises around every corner.

We could not decide what this beauty might be, but it stood, alone and proud, as we began our descent. The cork oaks stood sentinel over their beautiful charges, as they have for many long years, and all was right with our world.

I hope there are enough Bright Squares here to satisfy Becky. It’s a bit of a deviation from my bright memories in the Italian Lakes, but I’ll be back there later this week. Meanwhile there are walks to share.

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Feel free to join in at any time. I’m walking with you once a fortnight, but walks are always gratefully accepted. It doesn’t have to be a Monday. That’s washday, isn’t it?

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Wales can be just as beguiling in the company of Drake :

Stone for the roof

Definite signs of Spring where Joanne is taking us :

Easter weekend walk

How about a flying visit to India? Sheetal is such a fun guide :

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Fresh snow was served for breakfast

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Sarah joins me with a walk I know and love :

Kippers and castles: a walk from Craster to Dunstanburgh

And, by contrast, with a city walk I’d like to experience :

The Square of Religious Tolerance in Sofia

If I ever need an island retreat I will certainly consider this one, Karen! The name is misleading :

A walk around Scotland

The Australian landscape never fails to awe! Follow Mel on another adventure :

Stepping Down, Down, Down into the Gorgeous Fern Tree Gully, Rylstone

I’d like to end the day with a peaceful stroll, with Margaret :

The forgotten pleasure of an evening stroll

Or, even better, a tiptoe with Cady!

Jo’s Monday Walk: Let’s Tip-Toe through the Tulips!

I haven’t forgotten cake. Next time, I promise! Till then, take care, and get out walking when you can.

140 comments

  1. We all apreciate the freedom of going a bit further even more now that lockdown is being relaxed. Jo, I am impressed how well you know your wild flowers 😄 The orchids are gorgeous, I love them all.

  2. I feel giddy just seeing all this beauty, Jo!! I love all sorts of spring flowers and you have so many grand ones here. I’m going to go through them all again just for the pleasure of it.

    janet

    1. Oh, bless you, Janet! I thought this walk was wonderful but the one we took this morning probably managed to surpass it. The hills were alive with colour! 🙂 🙂

      1. I don’t know that the photos will live up to expectation, or that I will post them as a walk, because it’s one I’ve featured before, but I enjoyed it enormously 🙂 🙂

  3. Lovely walk, Jo. I’m happy to see that you’re able to get out and about again. I love all the different flowers, especially the orchids.

      1. Enjoy your new-found freedom and long may it last. I don’t know what I’d have done without my daily walk. I feel so lucky here because the restrictions we’ve had are so minimal compared to many places.

  4. What an array of flowers! I am so surprised that there are so many different types! But, I guess I don’t go looking for them in the wild either! It is lovely that you have this so close to your home! If we didn’t save our little patches here and there we wouldn’t have any! Build, build, build……..they rip down everything and scrub it clean and then bring in landscaping to make it look nice once again! Nuts! Have a good week! Cady

  5. Loved your walk, your flowers and your trees. What a heavenly walk! Your proud pink beauty is another type of orchid. We have similar ones. Perhaps an unspotted common spotted orchid if there is such a thing. Your type of orchid is more exciting though. Your camera, like mine, doesn’t like focusing on small, dark things and is heading for the background. One idea might be to pull back away from it, a good bit further than you want to be, then crop it more tightly after.

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