Redressing the Balance part 2

In October 2016, I wrote a blog on the devastation resulting from the heavy snowfall that fell in one night in March 2015. This caused a huge number of pine trees to topple, as the root system is not splayed out like an oak tree and so cannot support extra weight on top. Which then…

Mountain Rescue Part 2

You never really think something is going to happen until it does and we have had lots of surprises in our remote village in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains. Living here we had become accustomed to the extreme environment and thought we had learnt from the last time someone got lost in these mountains but somehow…

Responsible Forestry

The lack of human interference in these mountains is a charming quality. Wild animals make tracks us humans can use to explore the undisturbed scenery. The flora and fauna is rich in this biodiverse area, with many wild flowers, butterflies, birds, mushrooms, reptiles and animals. Before the car age, these mountains were inhabited by lots…

Breeding like rabbits

It was after reading John Seymour’s, ‘The new complete book of Self Sufficiency’, that the idea of farming rabbits was born. I had enjoyed the taste of wild rabbit meat and disagreed with the way shop bought rabbits live in the same, or worse, conditions as battery hens. With a large garden full of organic…

Lyubino Luck …or happy accidents

Since we moved to Bulgaria there have been a lot of trials but none have been bad enough to count as tribulations. We researched ‘in depth’ before we embarked on our self-sufficient lifestyle, using books, internet, family and friends’ experiences and advice, even taking education courses but there’s nothing like learning hands on. When we…

Mountain Rescue

One day I was out walking with Jakal, our guardian dog, clearing one of the many walk routes around Melanya from fallen trees and overgrowth and also marking the way as there are many tracks that cross the path. I’d heard a storm approaching but thought I had time so carried on but the rain began….

You can teach an old dog new tricks

Spring has finally started in the mountains and as well the usual signs of new life, like the bluebells, daffodils and crocus’ emerging, trees budding, butterflies and bees getting active and birds calling for mates, our dog, Jakal disappeared for 2 days. We could hear him barking higher up in the village and we called…

Interesting Wildlife at Melanya Mountain Retreat

Our relatively short time in the Rhodope Mountains has been wonderful, discovering nature that is different to our experiences in England yet very familiar. The countryside is very similar to the UK with the four distinct seasons and the same species of trees including Oak, Walnut and Silver Birch. From our very first visit 6…

Autumn in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains

The end of summer came to the Eastern Rhodope Mountains last weekend, in sync with England but without the English grey drizzle that follows the change in temperature.