Monday, May 19, 2008

Cows and Flowers

Flores is loaded with cows. Whenever you go someplace, up a road or a footpath, wondering What's up here? it turns out to be a cow. Well, sometimes it's a goat, but most of the time it's a cow.

There are, however, no dairy barns. I saw a man on a horse with a milk can hanging off each side. And then I came across this portable milking station:

The other thing Flores is famous for is flowers. Its name means flowers. Hydrangeas have naturalized here. They are not at their peak right now (that happens in July), but there are enough to satisfy me. The Portuguese for hydrangea is ortensia.

Of course I've tried to take pictures of the landscape, all combinations of hills and pastures, cows and the sea. This is the only really good one. It came out looking like a painting! Except that the horizon is not level. Tilt your head slightly when you look at it. Better yet, blur your eyes.

I went to church again yesterday (Sunday), because I didn't want the good people of Lajes to think that the big American tourists went to church only when there was a free lunch afterward (proving once again that there is no free lunch). I caught a few more words this time, including palavras (words), Senhor (Lord), oremos (let us pray), mundo (world), sangue (blood), memoria di me (pretty obvious at what point I caught on, isn't it?), and amanhá (tomorrow). Oh, and creio (I believe). I also picked up a two-month-old copy of the church newspaper, from which I learned that Irmã Lúcia (Sister Lucia), one of the three children who saw Our Lady of Fátima, has been put forward for beatification, the first step toward sainthood. Fátima is a huge cult here, and explains all the processions with children carrying crowns for the Virgin. I saw a notice on the church bulletin board saying that next week is First Communion. I think I might take next Sunday off.


erieblue said...

What terrific pictures! If there are many cows, does that mean there are many cow patties?

lucette said...

I'm quite jealous of the naturalized hydrangeas, especially because the last two winters almost did for my ancient hydrangea--it's only a quarter of itself.
REading these posts makes me regret not blogging from Tahoe--it would have been hard though, because we only had dial-up.