rio-majaceite

October – AUTUMN COLOURS – flowering bulbs, Spanish Ibex, resident and wintering birds.

The flowering plant seasons starts afresh as the temperatures drop and humidity rises, with autumn bulbs setting the scene; Yellow Autumn crocus grows between the rocks close to the village, Narcissus cavanillesii can be difficult to locate as it is such a tiny plant, the same goes for the delicate Autumn squill. Both Autumn colchicum and Autumn crocus are more visible and although very similar in colour and form, you can tell them apart by counting the stamens (3 for the crocus).

The attractive Autumn mandrake with its large, pale blue flowers amongst a leafy rosette tends to grow in verges and fields in the valleys. Carob trees have male flowers on one tree and females on another, you can tell the difference by colour, or by looking for the tiny new beans forming. Smilax has a pleasant scent, but note the thorns which it uses to scramble up through trees and hedgerows.

There is one orchid flowering at this time of year, Autumn ladies tresses, which has white flowers on a characteristic spiralled stem, it can skip a year if the rainfall is not sufficient.