Saturday, 24 January 2015


A few minutes' walk from our base in the Algarve, we found ourselves strolling through the pines and scrub of the cliff-tops.
Variously known as Stone Pines or Umbrella Pines (Pinus pinea), these attractive conifers are one of the quintessential trees of Southern Europe. The Stone Pines growing on this area, have a tricky time of it as they cling desperately to the crumbling cliffs, eventually giving in to gravity and tumbling over the edge.
Wooden fences have been erected in parts along these cliff tops, to prevent people driving their cars too close to the edge and adding to the debris at the bottom.
As we walked along towards Vilamoura, we were delighted to hear the sound of bells clanging and various bleating sounds coming from among the trees. The sound came from a mixed flock of sheep and goats, browsing among the scrub.
In the opposite direction, some of the pines which found themselves growing too close to the edge, were succumbing to their plight and the prevailing winds.
Some had given up the fight altogether.
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