Friday, 6 November 2009

Salmoura

You know how an Indian Summer is when you get a nice patch of summer weather in mid/late October? What's the winter equivalent of that called when you get a spell of prematurely bad weather around the same time? Whatever it is, we had one on Flores this year.

For almost two weeks in the second half of October, the rain poured and the wind blew but the thing is that, once the storm has blown itself out and the rain stops, there's still a massive swell coming in from the sea which breaks on the rocky shore and casts up a salt spray which just hangs in the air and drifts slowly inland: it's called salmoura in Portuguese.

If I were a poet, I'd be able to describe this hauntingly and beautifully in a poem. But I'm not so I'm going to show you in photographs instead. And as I'm a pretty indifferent photographer, you're going to have to use quite a lot of imagination to conjure up salmoura.

The thing about salmoura is that it doesn't half bugger up plants, many of which are still flowering merrily away around the end of October in this mild climate. As witness this clump of cubres:-

Observe how the seaward (left) half has been blasted by the salt spray while the landward half is still hanging in there. (Note to self to put windward pelargoniums in greenhouse. If not too late. Just one thing after another on this island.)

7 comments:

Mary said...

From Indian summers to Cumbernauld Pie via toad migration and Tony Soprano, all on the one page. Variety is the spice of life.

Marisa said...

Hello. Just to add that the word salmoura is used when we put fish or meat, etc. in abundant salt to preserve it. In the central group is called the Ressalga do mar and in S. Miguel it's Rocio do mar.
And yes it burns every thing, and leaves your hair like palha d'aço (another challenge for you, heheh),and clothes stiff when drying in the air, and rusty cars, and so on... It's an ugly wheather, i call it nojento.

Kathie said...

"palha d'aço" = steel straw (LOL!).

An Azores government delegation (including an amigo of ours) got stuck on nearby Corvo last week when it was too windy for airplanes to fly in/out safely. They were finally evacuated to Faial (and thence homeward to their respective islands, as necessary) on Friday. That's pretty stormy, IMHO.

Kathie said...

What, no new blog post for nearly two weeks? Hope you folks are safe and sound out there on Flores.

Neil King and Carol Duncan said...

Oh yes, we're fine. By coincidence, I was on Corvo on Tuesday and got back fine despite somewhat turbulent conditions on the boat.

Kathie said...

Are you at liberty to reveal what took you to Corvo? After all it's hardly a major destination, especially in the off-season. Please do tell...

le moulin said...

I take it you were dragged back to Corvo kicking and screaming N?