This afternoon I took a walk through the Refugio de Juanar, about 10 minutes north of Marbella. It’s so good to feel the cooler air again and be able to be active outside without the baking heat of summer.
There were a few signs of Autumn. First, I saw blackberry brambles bearing fruit – it’s strange seeing such a familiar plant, reminding me of childhood days in the West Country, intertwined with a Spanish olive tree, its fruit slowly ripening.
I also noticed that a few pale purple crocus, with their red / orange stigmas, had begun to emerge in the partly cultivated valley, in the shade of the olive trees.
later this year, maybe in October, all across Andalucia, a specific tye of crocus are harvested
– the intensely coloured threads from their stigmas are collected and then
toasted to preserve them as saffron. Of course, it is saffron (azafrán)
that provides the distinctive colour and flavour to paella – the staple Sunday lunch dish