..."The reed bed is impenetrable with stems of bulrushes submerged in the water, their cylindrical, elongated ears, brown and spongy.With white and feathery cattails skirting the border. Long-legged purple herons nest; big ugly birds with sinuous, winding necks and sharp beaks they use to hunt frogs and snakes. Horrific screeches pierce the half-light of the dying day.
On the descent of the winding road, brooks moisten dozens of small gardens hidden among tangled and leafy vegetation. Thousands of ash trees with their long and narrow annual leaves, like ferns; white willow’s leaves like spears of distant tribes, their underside off-white and their branches outstretched…a jungle in the midst of the mesa Purple clematis with their eight-petalled flowers; gleaming ivy covering the trunks of the black poplars with their heart-shaped leaves;and hops with green leaves like the small cone of the pine tree.
The road descends and accentuatesit’s serpentineforms like a convulsedsnake and, at the lowest point, the woods thicken abundantly, forming a shaded spot, where, for its pure lyric beauty, possesses a certain magic. And from there, the road levels and straightens out. On one side, accompanied by thousands of giant poplars and alders; fig trees and blackberries; wild roses, willows, cherry and plum trees; elms and aspens, black and white poplars, small heart-shaped leaves with silver undersides that shine in the sun like bright and scintillating bells. And on the other side, a great cut mountain as far as a reservoir.Tangled foliage covers the cutof the mountain and pines run up its height. The sun’s rays, at this hour, seep between the exotic grove dappling shadows and chiaroscuros on the asphalt. And up at the white, cement bridge, before you get to the reservoir, the foliage clears and the sun reflects its prayers. The light is so overwhelming that you have to shade your eyes with your hand. There are flashes, small flames. The sun and the light of love aflame on the water. The surface of the water sparkles, all morning, through the evening and to the final hour of the day. The reed bed you can see from the road is like a closely woven rug; dense, thick and tall. It is green, a meadow green; a green that rises in front of the cut poplars against the blue of the sky. Pure green. Shaded green.Pastel green. As if it was painted by the hand of an artist since Nature herself was not capable of framing her own scene. And the frogs croak. Thousands of them, from between the reeds and the bullrushes. Sunset starts the amphibian and cricket recital. And when the sunlight disappears, only then can you see the colours in their true intensity, without the rays of the sun reflecting them and stealing their light. And later, those tones are darkened as discretely as the sun departing behind the hill into the apple orchard. Slowly, calmly, little by little; it takes its time; it arrives, without hurrying but without pausing…but…it always arrives. And the darkness advances discretely, covering the intense green reeds, the blue of the sky and the storm-grey water. And when everything is blackness, the lights of the bridge shine and you can see them from the top of the village. Yellow lights that reflect on the river. There are two reservoirs and two rivers. One facing downward and the other that looks up. And, a few kilometres further, Toro crackles, and from the bridge you can see, golden and splendent, like a flagship, the hermitage in Castronuño."
Paragraph selected from Chapter 1st "The God of Green Valleys", First Part "The God of Green Valleys"