AHA talks: Mistletoe, Linnaeus and Noras

The Algarve History Association has organised three talks for the beginning of the month.
Dr Michael Jones, who taught botany at Newman University, Birmingham, will be giving two presentations: the first on Saturday, October 4 at the Bela Romão Croquet Club, near Olhão, on ‘Mistletoe’ and the other on October 7 at the Lagoa Municipal Library on biologist Carl Linnaeus – both commencing at 6pm.
Dr Jones has given his ‘Mistletoe’ talk on over 100 occasions in the UK and once previously in the Algarve at the Museu do Trajo in São Brás. Now he will be addressing an audience at the croquet club.
There will be welcome drinks of hot buttered rum and mulled wine from 6pm, with Dr Jones’ presentation beginning at 6.30pm.
To continue with the mistletoe theme, the talk will be followed by ‘The earliest Christmas Dinner in the Algarve’. Cost per person is €25 – [email protected] (bookings).
In Lagoa on the 7th, Dr Jones will speak about the great biologist, Carl Linnaeus, who devised the system that gives all living things two Latin names. In Sweden, Linnaeus is widely regarded as a national hero and it is said that more has been written about him than any other biologist with the exception of Charles Darwin. Why? Dr Jones will address this question and provide an insight into the man who brought order to the natural world. This talk is open to everyone.
Meanwhile, on Monday, October 6, also at 6pm but in the Municipal Library in Tavira, Isabel Blaser with give a talk on ‘Noras in the Algarve and Water Features in the Gardens of Andalusia’.
Isabel Blaser studied landscape architecture, and fine art and art history in Switzerland. She has planned municipal projects as well as private gardens. Since 1998, she has worked as a landscape architect in the Algarve and writes articles about Iberian garden features. Her garden projects can be seen on her website
In this presentation, Isabel shows that the Arabs who came to the Iberian Peninsula in the eighth century had inherited hydraulic technologies from their forebears in the deserts of the Middle East. They brought these technologies with them to Iberia and introduced here techniques for raising, storing and channelling water, which were new to Iberia.
In the hot and dry climate of the Iberian Peninsula, they used innovative and intensive irrigation, which allowed them to introduce new crops into the region.
Even nowadays we still see in the Algarve the many old wells with impressive gear wheels standing near rivers and streams and in close proximity to orange groves. These devices are called Noras, and this name comes from the Arabic word Noura, which designates the gear wheel for raising water.
In this presentation Isabel goes on to show the link between the water features of Islamic gardens and water devices used in agriculture. This talk is open to everyone.