Posts Tagged ‘Maritime pine’


Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Since the beginning of October, we – or, more precisely, Duncan with the occasional help of Wayne – have been working hard in the woods above the terraces. These steep slopes of predominantly Maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) have been neglected for a number of years and were overcrowded with self-seeded saplings, wind-blown fallen trees and sparse but flammable understory of Carqueja (Genista tridentata), tree heath (Erica arborea) and bracken (Pteridium aquilinum).

Woodland management

The woods before clearing began


Pine wilt nematode

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Pine wilt nematode in Maritime pine

This is the view from the top of the track down to the larger building on the quinta. In many ways it encapsulates the nature of the “Green Heart of Portugal” – forested mountain ranges cut deep by meandering river valleys, peppered with tiny white villages perched on mountain ridges, surrounded by land terraced and richly cultivated with olives, vines, fruit trees, vegetables … Idyllic.

But it encapsulates something else about the Green Heart of Portugal too – an ecological disaster-in-the-making presently taking hold in Portugal’s forests. The tree on the left is dying.


A porch for the yurt

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Having cut the timber from our woodland and let it dry sufficiently to be unsticky enough to handle (just), I got started on constructing the porch framework over the last 2 days.

Laying out and levelling yurt porch floor area

Laying out and levelling porch floor area.


Do Be Do Be Do

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

“To be is to do – Socrates
To do is to be – Sartre
Do Be Do Be Do – Sinatra”
Kurt Vonnegut

Somewhere in that quote above is all sorts of wisdom about Doing and Being, but the trouble is I’m so much in the Doing right now there’s no room in my head for reflections on the subject. So I’m sticking with Sinatra for the moment …


I’m a lumberjack and I’m OK

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Went over to Benfeita today to do some more work on installing the stove. It took me easily half an hour to get along the 1km of our track. Last night’s winds and rain had brought down some trees and I had to shift no less than 3 trees across the track to get to the quinta, each one progressively larger than the last. Just as well I happened to have a hand saw in the back of the van. (Mental note to self: keep one there at all times.) And just as well they were all relatively small pines that my girly muscles were capable of shifting. (Mental note to self: keep a tow rope in the back of the van for occasions when girly muscles aren’t enough.)