Tag Archives: eucalyptus

Requiem for the eucalyptus

blog_requiem-for-the-eucalyptuses

I bought the eucalyptuses when they were still tiny with only a few little leaves for 10 cents each

We had talked about it extensively: how much water eucalyptus suck up. While working for a real estate agent, in the preparatory phase of our emigration, I visited a casa-murada-com-quintal (I belonged to the rústico department) where the future former owner had planted an adjacent eucalyptus forest.

Once there was also a very deep hole in the ground, about which the future former told that it had been completely full with water in the past, but since he had planted eucalyptus on this piece of land, you could see the water level drop. Those trees drink that much.

We could almost see it drop when we stood there at that hole, talking. (A portuguese conversation can be quite lenghty.)

Later, when we were talking about dehydrating the fields (which at that time were still part of the Termas, but which we sold later, because what business do we have with fields, urban idiots as we were) the memory of those eucalyptuses came to mind.

It was now clear that the whole of Portugal is full of eucalyptuses, but it brings the country not much good

It dries out the entire country. Now we were exactly after that: dehydration.  Our country of origin is famous for it. We want to obtain the polder-model, as worthy descendants of Jan Leeghwater, but then with trees instead of windmills. 

That is why I bought those seedlings and planted them along the ditch. I accidentally mowed a few while they were still small and were in danger of being choked by the reeds. Despite the unwanted thinning, they were still fairly close to each other.

They were not bothered about that at all.

These eucalyptuses have grown as high as the sky in about 17 years

I had a vague scene in the back of my mind that someday I would hear (while being in heaven) a great-grandchild saying, “Yes, my great-grandmother planted those!” – and then they would have become very beautiful and old and big.

Unfortunately, Fate had something else in mind with those eucalyptuses

Last fall we unexpectedly and unvoluntarily hosted Leslie. Leslie the hurricane. As a result, around 4 eucalyptuses were blown over and fell onto the roof. Fortunately, the damage was limited, but if we can expect more extreme weather due to climate change, it is not so smart to leave Very High Trees too close to your house.

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They had done their best, probably in collaboration with son’s guardian angel, because they had fallen exactly on the concrete edge of the roof above his room. They had not been broken down or suddenly dropped; they had slowly fallen. Said the insurance agent.

The past week I felt like Idéfix

photo:  https://www.vivreasainghin.org/2018/10/11/deforestation/idefix-arbres/

Neighbor Josué had arranged someone who would cut them off and take them away. I had a tendency to howl next to the fallen ones – like Idéfix.

I just can’t get used to the view. The air is so bare. Only blue, without any buds and branches.

It was wise. But sometimes wise isn’t fun at all.

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We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

The Portuguese paper

Question of a child in 2054:

“Mommy, what is this white stuff?”

“That’s called paper. Don’t touch it! It’s very rare.”

“Where does paper come from?”

Portuguese paper. We have that here. Plenty. But then in a raw form

Ever realized? All paper come from these beings. These beauties only supply fibers for paper. .

They have to go.

Too high.

I’ve planted them myself, with a vague dream in mind …

blog_the-portuguese-paper

… “Wow, what a surprise! What beautiful old trees, how did they get here? They look amazing, how old are they?” She’s a little bit new-chic, but it’s sincere amazement. She looks beautiful and surprised, a little star on the grass. She still has everything of her own, except of course her digital arm. Everyone has that, European regulations. And maybe her hair color is not authentic …

But her admiration is, and not surprising. Who else has such trees in his garden still?

Every living tree higher then 2 meters has been cut down. Everywhere in the whole world

Fire hazard, damage to your home (expanding roots), high class greed – name a reason, but anyway, no tree gets older then about 10. Not throughout Portugal. Not in Europe.

The only thing that remains is the plantations. Portugal is full of it. For so long … longer than anyone can remember. Portugal has always been very happy with something that raised money. Making portuguese paper has always been a good way of earning your living.

Fibers are of course made artificial many years ago

You no longer need a tree or plant for that. The laboratories plus associated printers run overtime, because everything is made of fibers, isn’t it?

“They escape inspection – I have no idea how that could happen. I’ve had a visitor once – who said it’s because these trees have a very strong guardian angel … yeah! “He laughs a little uneasy.

“Anyway, they’ve been here for as long as I can remember. My grandmother planted them. Look, after a violent storm, my father had a few on the roof of his room. One of the first hurricanes … He told me that they had a good time cleaning up those two huge trees on the roof. There’s a movie of that, that my grandmother shot herself, but of course there’s nothing anymore, no device to watch it on.”

blog_restoration-after-restoration-after-Leslie

He laughs again.

“Imagine making a movie with a telephone! Ha!” He stops and looks at the girl’s digitarm, a bit uncertain suddenly. “You know what a telephone is, don’t you?”

“Yes, yes, of course”, she says, looks at him, and they laugh together, while the girl looks again at the trees in admiration. Her gaze differs to the one of the boy, who still laughs a little uneasily, looking at her …

Oh yeah. A person can dream, can’t she?

The dream will not come true because they have to leave. Risk of falling. At least, if there’s a hurricane coming by. They can have a normal storm, they’ve proven that time after time. Now we run the risk of more violent weather, I’m having my doubts.

What do you think? Will we take the risk? Or just cut them down?

.

<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.