September storms on Mallorca

It’s the last day of September and, although we expect storms on Mallorca this month – after the long hot summer – we seem to have had more of them than usual. And along with high temperatures, the high humidity has made things uncomfortable at times.

We’ve also had three lots of visitors staying with us during September. The first visit was from our friends Duncan and Kristina, who were surprised to find it so hot and humid – having stayed at the finca with us before at around this time. During their stay, we spent the best part of one day with them in the lovely coastal village of Banyalbufar (enjoying an excellent lunch at 1661 Cuina de Banyalbufar – a most-visit restaurant if you’re ever in that part of the Mallorca). The sun had shone all day and was still shining as we approached home. One thing was evident though: puddles were everywhere.  Clearly it had rained, but stopped in time to give us a warm and sunny end to the day.

A trail of destruction

The weather, in our absence, turned out to have been more than a heavy shower.  As we drove through the gates onto our drive, we noticed that the dishes under all the flowerpots were full of water. That was the only sign there that there’d been a storm. But when we opened the shutters at the back of the house, all was revealed: two teak dining chairs blown over; a parasol (on a stand) lying on the ground, and another parasol broken and blown some distance from its original position. And down in our field, two almond trees had suffered severe damage. We now have a couple of almond tree trunks standing forlorn and without branches and leaves.

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One broken almond tree

One broken almond tree

Flying chairs

Flying chairs

Another broken tree

Another broken tree

We found out later that there had been an intense hailstorm, with severe winds. It seemed that a mini-tornado had whipped its way through our garden, leaving its calling card in its wake. We checked out our Swiss neighbours’ garden (in their absence) as it appeared to be on the trajectory of whatever had passed through our garden, but the only damage suffered there was a potted plant that had been blown over.

Mallorca’s green and pleasant land

This was a very localized storm, and there have been quite a few of those on Mallorca over the past few weeks. Every day we’ve checked various weather apps, finding the forecast of more storms. Our visitors this September have not had quite the weather they’d expected. We’ve now had enough rain (hopefully) to top up the reservoirs depleted during the summer months. Mallorca is looking green again, with an enthusiastic showing of early weeds in our garden. But the most unexpected sight in our garden – due no doubt to the continuing warmth and all the rainfall – has been almond blossom on one of our several trees (undamaged by the storm). We don’t usually see that until January/February. It’s been a strange September . . .

 

 All photos courtesy of Duncan Matthews.

 

 

Yet another kitten arrives at our Mallorcan finca

Last Thursday evening we returned late from Palma (where we’d attended La Nit de l’Art with the previous owners of our Mallorcan finca, who are now dear friends). As usual, when we come home late, our glaring of cats – a family of ferals that have adopted us – came to greet us, in the hope of a little more food.  The Boss went out to add some more biscuits to their bowls before we locked up for the night. He’d been outside a few minutes when he called me back out of the house to come and see something.

There, cowering near the dustbin, was a tiny kitten. Another one. Only a few weeks have passed since our last ‘arrival’ – Peanut – left us, presumably in search of a territory of her own.  After her departure, the rest of the cats seemed much calmer:  Peanut had been a bit disruptive to their peaceful lives around our place and, although she’d been with us for around 10 months, they had tolerated rather than enjoyed the presence of the little ginger female.

This latest arrival immediately ran over to us and seemed to be seeking attention. We were  able to stroke it and pick it up. Clearly this was no feral kitten that had wandered away from its mother and become lost. Its ease with humans suggested that this was an unwanted kitten that had been dumped in the countryside and left to fend for itself. This kind of thing happens frequently around here and such cruelty makes me furious . . .

Short shrift from Shorty

The other cats were not impressed. Shorty – who was the first of the ‘outsiders’ to arrive and successfully infiltrated the ‘family’ – surprised us the most, growling at the small kitten in a very aggressive and un-Shorty-like way. He clearly didn’t remember that he was once the scared kitten in need of food and care. We didn’t want to bring the kitten into the house in case it was carrying any disease (we have an elderly Birman living indoors), so for the little one’s safety, we put it overnight into one of our large cat-carrying baskets, along with food, water, and a litter tray.

On Saturday morning we discovered that Itty-Bitty-Kitty (well, we had to call her something) had been sick and seemed to be a little feverish. We had The Boss’s sons staying for the weekend, so I left them at home to have some ‘man-time’ and headed off to the vet’s with the kitten. Our vet always records a name for the animals it treats. Clearly I’d have been there a long time if I had to spell out Itty-bitty-kitty in the Spanish alphabet, so little one became Pip. Easy to spell, and appropriate, given her diminutive size. Yes, it’s another female . . .

A few days’ medication later, Pip seems to have recovered from her virus and is eating well. The vet says she’s about three months old, although she looks very small. Today we are taking her to be vaccinated and for blood tests to make sure there’s nothing nasty lurking within. As for the future, who knows? It will certainly be brighter than if Pip hadn’t found a feline-friendly place to hide . . .

The latest arrival

The latest arrival

Chilling out on the terrace.

Chilling out on the terrace.

Such a small creature in The Boss's arms.

Such a small creature in The Boss’s arms.