Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Portugal Part 3: Birthing stones and cows

Who would have known that certain types of rock, can actually give birth to small baby stones?

I certainly did not know this until I visited the Freita Mountain, Arouca, Aveiro District in Portugal.
It is a geological phenomena; whereby the granite mother rock, gets a darker spot and out pops a baby stone.

A baby stone getting borm...

Before the baby stone pops out, the rock gets a  darker spot from which the little stone appears.

We then headed over to visit the ladies living in the village close to these birthing stones.
The mountains around the village and the village itself experienced a large fire decimating parts of the village, killing some cows and causing a disruption in the grazing for the animals.

We visited with the one of three sisters. This chatty lady has 2 cows,
who follow the same routine as the shepherds.
The cows are released from the stone sheds and go to the mountains to graze and then in the evening they come back down the mountain.

The cows know which shed is theirs and then slowly trickle back into the village in the evening going into their stall. They are bedded on some fern branches.

The first of her two cows head into the village making its way to its stall.

Fresh water for the cows.

A little encouragement by the lady ensures the cow heads into its stall promptly.

The history on these buildings is fascinating. Something I love about Europe, the rich and long architectural history.

The lady was given a Estrela for protection of her cows. Losing one or both, of the cows is economically a big blow to these people, The dog is being bonded to the cows, and will accompany the cows to the mountains everyday and provide protection to them.

The dog sleeps in with one of the cows at night. 

In the yard is the traditional hunting dog. Where you see shepherds and herders, you will also find the hunting dog.

These ladies live a simple life, and understanding the value of their livestock is crucial. It is perhaps more economically devastating to lose 1 of 2 cows,
 than it would  from a bigger operation.

The dog is as important to the ladies, as it is for someone with  a 300 goat herd.

1 comment:

  1. you always have great Stories the birthing Stones was really cool


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