September 04, 2015

September Has Come

September has come. Another summer has gone by. A good summer at that, but then, most summers are good.  A non-smelly summer for me, without garbage pile-ups, balmy heat and electricity cuts. I know this has not been the same for everyone. It doesn’t mean the season has changed.

It is terribly hot on the coast still, but up in the mountains it is cooler, especially in the evenings, and so we roam the hills and mountains around our mountain house (It sounds a lot grander than it is). It‘s always quiet, and that’s a nice change from hectic and noisy Beirut.
Now that I have to avoid the shitty paper trail for a while, until the first rains have dissolved the massive amounts of toilet paper and fecal matter, which should be somewhere in November, I hike a little higher, on the flanks of Mount Kniesseh.
There’s a change in the weather though, and the birds can feel it. The buzzard migration is in full force.  Thousands and thousands birds of prey were circling around in columns of rising hot air last weekend, soaring from one column into the next, all the way to Africa, their wintering range. Lebanon is one of the main passages of the bi-annual migration of many birds.  More information about it here.
Unfortunately, the hunting season has also started.

While hiking, we encountered several shepherds and their troops. They’ll be moving their sheep and goats to the valleys end of October. We have an English shepherd dog, and we thought we’d give the shepherd a demonstration on how quickly and efficiently our dog could round up his goats. ‘Baladi’ goats, by the way. And indeed, our dog got the herd together in under a minute. The shepherd smiled politely. The shepherd’s dog however, was not impressed, and needed only 5 seconds to kick our dog’s ass big time. He’s now on anti-biotics to ward of an infection from being partially mangled. So much for that ingenious idea.

We also encountered a free-roaming horse. It’s a young horse, maybe one year old, and belongs to one of the shepherds. It was quite curious, and walked up with us for a while, before he returned to the goats.  It is obviously used to dogs, and was not impressed by our barking and growling species; quite the contrary, it playfully started to chase them. It was not our dog’s best day; First you get your ass kicked by another dog, then you have a yearling chase you. 

Harvest time is on its way. Way above the valley is this lone farmer, not surrounded by other people’s farms, or gardens or houses,  all alone, on the top of the world, growing sweet peas, white beans and broad beans. We bought some beans of him, and then he did not want to accept the money. We thought to give it to his employee, who was gathering them, but he did not want it either.
In the meantime, everyone is waiting for the season to change to a cooler one.


Jenny said...

Nice blog! Just found it, and read you post on september. Nice to see something different from
the usual pictures from Beirut =)
I will be moving to Lebanon in a couple of months with my family.

Olivia said...

Just stumbled on your blog and I love it! I can't stop reading