Spanish nature

This tag is associated with 38 posts

A mole cricket turns up

With, what seems, the entire flying ant population of Andalucia ending up in the pool, we were introduced to a new creature this morning. One of the cats may have brought it in as a gift – it’s kinda ugly and beautiful at the same time. We think it’s a mole cricket (Gryllotalpa brachyptera). We know little … Continue reading

A sting in the tail

Our I-Spy game of things-we-don’t really-want-to-spot continues with a scorpion, the first either of us have seen in the wild (London Zoo, aged seven, doesn’t count). It was dead but in perfect condition. It’s about 7cm long, quite pale with a darker, striped body. We’re pretty good at naming different types of curry dishes – … Continue reading

Pomegranate (photo)

This pomegranate looks fresh, but it’s actually a week or two old; perhaps wrenched from the tree by the wind that often grows stronger for a while in the baking afternoon. The surface is dried and hard and we collected it after it had fallen; split open to reveal its rose-coloured pearls – a fruit … Continue reading

The winds in Spain – a lot of hot air

Everyone knows about the rain in Spain but the winds deserve a mention. We’ve been here in March when it barely relented for five days in a row and, on the odd occasion, we thought we’d end up somewhere over the rainbow. The fabulous meteorologist Steph Ball (on Twitter), who’s based in Gibraltar, drew our … Continue reading

You are my (partly cloudy) sunshine…

If anyone’s in any doubt about whether it’s sunny most of the time here, then this is the proof (thanks to AccuWeather). We love the slight difference in the days’ description: plenty of sunshine, sunny, sunshine, abundant sunshine, sunshine and warm…oh look, there’s a sunny, warm and less humid (worry not, it’s sunny the next day). … Continue reading

A moving tale

Or should that be – a moving tail. Our cats hunt anything from mice, insects, birds, snakes and, today, a lizard. We think it was a Mediterranean house gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus). The lizard was rescued but its tail – jettisoned like a street robber dropping an emptied purse – continued a brief existence. Having not thought … Continue reading

A Quiet Escape on the Ruta Olivos Centenarios – Órgiva (guest post)

A while back, Charlotte (and Ed) from the US wrote a fabulous post about their time in Órgiva. Charlotte offered to write another one – thank you! – and we just had to say ‘yes’. As before, it will be of particular interest to those who like walking and nature. Directions below – we hope … Continue reading

Frog chorus…OK, a duet

Scrambling up a steep bank this evening – all David Attenborough-like – we captured the bonkers sound of frogs. Not ducks being strangled but, presumably, the mating call of the plump little things that use a nearby alberca (water tank) as a place to hang out. An alberca up the lane recently had a whole choir … Continue reading

Aloe Aloe (photo)

Having grown up on marigolds, sweet peas and clematis we’ve encountered some alien-looking plants here. We’re hopeless at identifying almost any we encounter, so unsure exactly what species of genus this plant below is. Perhaps it’s an Aloe greatheadii. If anyone knows, please tell us. Whatever it is, it’s a stunner. These photos (of the same plant) … Continue reading

Wild boar damage

Our garden has been invaded…by wild boar, jabali in Spanish. It’s obvious where; several patches of earth have been rummaged-around-in and tell-tale hoof scrapes can be seen. It’s like someone has come along intending to dig a hole to Australia and given up after 10 minutes. We tried to do the same thing as kids in … Continue reading

On the buses – an American in Paradise (guest post)

…in this instance, a Californian boy and a Sussex girl living in the Midwest, US. Months ago, Ed and Charlotte got in contact via con jamón spain. When they visited Las Apujarras it was fantastic to meet them in Órgiva. Here’s their story of the month they spent here: When you live in Car Culture, USA, public … Continue reading

Ticks n’ tweezers

No, it’s not a Vietnamese restaurant specialising in deep-fried insects – just something to call this post about a new-found joy, ticks. In Spain, our cats have been adorned by them – a quick rummage in the fur and tiny black pearls of blood-sucking critters can be found. Scaled down, it’s like a Barbie doll … Continue reading

The darling buds of March

Come o’er the eastern hills, and let our winds Kiss thy perfumèd garments; let us taste Thy morn and evening breath; scatter thy pearls Upon our lovesick land that mourns for thee. O deck her forth with thy fair fingers; pour Thy soft kisses on her bosom; and put Thy golden crown upon her languish’d … Continue reading

Flowers of the Mediterranean – by Polunin and Huxley (book)

Browsing in a secondhand bookshop is second only to eating a curry or seeing Tottenham Hotspur lose. We’ve found an original copy of Flowers of the Mediterranean by Oleg Polunin and Anthony Huxley. It’s not a rare book but a delightful one with over 300 colour pictures, 128 line drawings and 700 species described. It … Continue reading

Shaking, pruning and burning

Like rats and ridiculous burgers in London, you’re never far away from an olive tree In Andalucia. For several weeks, the familiar sound of tapping could be heard as workers remove olives from the trees. Some farmers use noisy, vibrating machines to dislodge them. Large black nets are placed underneath to catch the olives. We’ve heard a … Continue reading