While we’ve had sensations of Autumn since early October – and even sensations of Winter in recent weeks – it’s only in the last few days that the colours associated with the Fall season have begun to proliferate in the Sierra de Guadarrama.
Of course the pines of Guadarrama don’t change colour..but the oaks do. And this is the phenomenon of the moment, swathes of oaks, known as rebollos or melojos, have gone golden brown this last week.
We spent a very pleasant day in the Navalmedio valley, below Puerto de Navacerrada, passing next to the famous Pino de la Cadena (Pine with a Chain). The chain around the base of the trunk was placed there ninety years ago..
The story is that, in the Summer of 1924, a man learned of the death of his father beneath this pine tree..and as the pine was marked for cutting, he decided to buy it and preserve it in memory of his progenitor. And so it still stands in the Navalmedio valley today.
Unfortunately there was an ugly note to the day as well..the quantity of rubbish to be found, particularly plastics and particularly below El Puerto de Navacerrada and the road leading to the Pass. Even more specifically, the amount of plastic bags and other petrochemical remains to be found in the streams is somewhat horrifying, and even more disgusting still, we encountered at least four (plastic) disposable female sanitary towels. So you can see why i wasn’t looking especially delighted in the foto..those plastic bags i am carrying are not full of mushrooms.