The second spring

second spring 1I HAD heard of Andalucia’s second spring but not paid much attention, semiconsciously filing it away in the mental drawer where curiosities such as the Gulf Stream’s effect on Ullapool are stored. A more methodical person might label this drawer “Questionable phenomena to be taken with a pinch of sea salt” . . .

There might be a sound scientific basis to some of these things, but ever since my father whisked our family to the north-west of Scotland during the 1960s, in a primrose yellow Anglia Estate, I have come across numerous examples of tourist destinations between Cape Wrath and Cornwall attributing their temperate microclimates – and therefore their suitability as holiday hotspots – to the effects of the Gulf Stream.

Andalucia’s second spring sounded like a similar marvel – a sort of burning bush and garden of Eden rolled into one, so into the drawer it went. And there it would have stayed.

But . . .

The second spring has suddenly sprung. I am mightily impressed – as well as a tiny bit abashed at my haste to dismiss it so readily.

Now and then . . . The upper image shows the land now, and the lower picture back in July when the land was parched
Now and then . . . The upper image shows the land now, and the lower picture back in July when the land was parched

When we arrived in Andalucia in July, the earth was a vast, semi-parched deadness. Now, following a couple of boisterous thunderstorms and a cooling of temperatures, brown grasses are suddenly a rich Irish green and birds are singing. I need to ring someone in Ullapool to ask if coconuts are being washed up on the tideline.

second spring 3 second spring 4 second spring 5 second spring 6The second spring is strangely entrancing because it is accompanied by autumn colours and ripening fruits. The grass might be green but the leaves of certain trees are turning gold and brown. Plump olives are mutating through shades of red and black. Oranges are changing from green to, well, orange.

And that’s the phenomenon of Andalucia’s second spring. It actually exists. Perhaps it’s caused by the Gulf Stream.

second spring 7

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13 thoughts on “The second spring

  1. This is very interesting, Alen! It’s news to me, anyway! I guess it’s the equivalent of a rainy season in the tropics or a monsoon in India? But how refreshing! Those woods look very spring-like although the lighting is golden, like autumn. We’ve got a covering of snow here!

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  2. Hi Alen.

    I’ve heard that climate scientists are concerned about the great weakening of the Gulf Stream. It can change the flow and result in much colder weather in the Nordic region.
    Is the second spring a recurring phenomenon every year??
    By the way thank you for reminding me of spring now that a snowstorm threatens Denmark 🙂
    Your thoughts and pictures are captivating, enticing and seductive of the second springtime in Andalusia.
    What an amazing experience to see the spring and autumn melt together and all the fragrances too –

    All the best,
    Hanna

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    1. Hi Hanna. Yes, the second spring comes round every year, apparently. It’s a very pleasant season because it’s like the first spring only with added goodies such as fruit and autumn colours.
      Sorry to hear about the snowstorms in Denmark. You must wear a woolly hat.
      It’s very windy hear today and the sky is overcast – a lot of rain on the way for tonight and tomorrow.
      All the best, Alen

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  3. Have to admire your tenacity and patience, standing there from July to November waiting to get that comparitive shot.

    In Lancashire we’re now in the second day of drizzle, but I have to say autumn colours have been vivid this year. I’ve never heard of the second spring, but the combination of full colour alongside those of autumn sounds inspiring.

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    1. The secret of standing in the same place for four-and-a-half months is to shift from one foot to the other every thirty seconds. It becomes automatic after a while.
      I’ve just started to read a piece in the Observer about autumn colours varying between continents (mostly reds in the US, mostly yellows and browns in Europe). Haven’t finished it yet so I can’t comment further.
      Sorry to hear about the drizzle.
      Cheers, Alen

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  4. Tynemouth calling! Sorry about lack of comments. Loved the photos. Got lost in the fog coming back from Wallsend where I further studied poor old Hadrian.(He of the wall) his trials and tribulations. He had been told by the good beurghers ” Divent gan anywhere Nero them buggers in Tynemouth cos they’ll killya and bury ya like been an Empror theel just be added to them burryd theor and put up the admishun charges even for CIU members…..ye are filleted aren’t ya? All the brikies in the Legion agreed and they left for Rome,except for a welder one Copius Mucus to finish the very last job….a steel tower so that the residents and their future generations could climb it and see Consett on a good day and on a bad day:Gateshead.(come to think of it , the latter is true even on a good day). I must sign off as I hear the mother-in-law returning from her appointment at the hospital to check if her blood was safe enough to inject into the laboratory rats. The roar of the Tiger Mk 1V is unmistakable. (more to follow.Fog on the Tyne,Corrour, gunnery,squashed oranges,re- patriation from Spain, the new F35 fighter and more…..Savill still dead pip pip Peter

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    1. Peter, when I read your comments I feel this peculiar yearning to be back in the North-East – they are so strong sometimes that I am almost tempted to watch repeats of “Vera” on Youtube.
      Copius Mucus gave me a laugh, I must admit. I think I worked with him once, or perhaps it was his brother. A chip off the block. You should write a book.
      All the best, Alen

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