Spanish wildlife

This tag is associated with 24 posts

To dye for – cochineal (a prickly tale)

Life is – in the countryside here in Andalucía – never having to say you’re sorry…for killing things. Huge ants build empires under the lawn, wild boar trash the place, processionary caterpillars cause a risk to animals; they need a tough talking to now and again, lest they take over one’s entire house and garden. The muffled … Continue reading

Abandoned bee hives (photo)

As we enter the last week of February, devoid of a leap day (the next is 2016), we awake to light and not dark. For several days the air has been warm, the daily ritual of building a fire will soon be gone. Away from the roads and bustle of Órgiva, the rocky, mainly dry riverbed of … Continue reading

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

Snake skin (photo)

Walks around the vicinity throw up all manner of things: half-alive cicadas, scorpions, decapitated mice, rogue dogs chasing our cats up trees, dung beetles, wild boar damage, 20-metre trails of black ants and the odd dead bird (not resting). So here today, gone tomorrow – we can now add a shed snake skin to the … Continue reading

Let us prey…

While S was digging in the dirt she spotted a 5cm-long albino mantis. They change colour to camouflage themselves and this one was among white geraniums. As we carefully approached, untangling olive branches from our hair, the mantis extended its forelegs in readiness to, presumably, strike. Here’s some excellent information about them on Wikipedia. Apparently, … 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

Goats on the Ruta Olivos Centenarios – Órgiva

Following on from yesterday’s post about the Ruta Olivos Centenarios in Órgiva – and that some of our younger (and older) readers love goats – here’s a 30-second clip. It reminds us of crossing London Bridge in the rush hour – but without being bumped in to and sworn at. It was filmed early on in … Continue reading

The weevil dead (part 2)

In part 1 of the weevil dead (Dad, it’s a pun on the horror film The Evil Dead, OK?) we talked about a beetle that lays its eggs in a certain type of palm tree, causing it to wilt in the sun like a drunk spectator watching cricket at Lord’s. We now have first-hand experience … Continue reading

Look what the cat dragged in

Well, almost – it was in the nearby orchard. Possum has upgraded his hunting skills from voles to metre-long snakes. So that’s great. Thanks beautiful boy. (Snake image © Benny Trapp) Related posts: Darling, nothing will come between us – except a five foot-long snake Snakes alive…and dead © con jamón spain

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

The weevil dead

It’s very sad to see palm trees dying, reduced to scarecrow-like figures with drooping, lifeless leaves. It’s all because of Rhynchophorus ferrugineus – the red palm weevil. Over the years, people have planted palm trees in places they want them to be seen; by swimming pools, grand entrances, ornamental gardens and so on. So the effect is … Continue reading

It’s got legs…(part 2)

If you’re lying in bed at 6am with a mild hangover (we blame our friends who came to stay) you can do without your cats making unusual noises outside the bedroom. Not a request for food or a desire to use the litter tray, but a tapping sound interspersed with scampering paws. In darkness we … Continue reading

Órgiva to Lanjarón walk (revised October 2013)

Here’s a lovely walk over the mountain paths from Órgiva to Lanjarón. It takes around two and a half hours. The GR-142 (Las Alpujarras route), running 144km between Fiñana in the province of Almería to Lanjarón, is the main part of the walk. Some of it is part of the 1900km GR-7 route (Senderos de Gran Recorrido) which goes from Spain to Greece. … Continue reading

Spiders – look away now if you don’t like them

We’re lucky enough to have a pool and all manner of ugly things end up in it – us included. We have mosquitos, large ants, flies, wasps and spiders. We try to hook out most things to give them a chance – especially moths, bees and grasshoppers – but really it’s so we can have … Continue reading