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El Cortijo del Rector

Rosy-Fingered Dawn

This for the house

And all we've kissed

And folk like us

If they exist

With its back to the distant snow-clad peaks of the Sierra Nevada, the house sits surrounded by olive and almond trees on a rocky hill with a vista across distant blue mountains to where the sun sets beyond the Pillars of Hercules. The colours of the earth beneath the dusty green of the olives change from moment to moment throughout the day. At dawn, the iron-rich southward slopes are dull russet and the northward pale grey. For a few minutes, the first rays of the sun turn all to rose, and then the land slides into flat shades from deep red to blinding white, until the creeping shadows of evening restore the softer curves of the hills. The winter sunset is an extravaganza of gold, violet and magenta with tiny points of silver, as the dying light catches the insulators of a distant pylon. With a final green flash, the sun is gone, and Venus, the Hesperus of the ancients, glitters against a theatrical cyclorama of deep blue.

(From Wigan Pier to Andalucia)

Afterglow over the Torcal de Antequera

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