Friday, October 11, 2019

La Graciosa in summer

Shallow lagoon Bahia de Salino filling with water in high tide

Ok, with all the excitement of the wildfire over, the academic year has started for real, and I feasted my (and, hopefully, your) eyes on the rare sight of freshwater stream on Gran Canaria, I would like to return to our short stay on Lanzarote.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Barranco de los Cernícalos — water!

A small waterfall a bit off the path

Finally, I've seen all three places where water always runs on Gran Canaria. Well, actually, there are just two left, poor Barranco de La Mina having been killed off by the owner of the water*. So, now on Gran Canaria you have just two places where freshwater runs all year round — Barranco de Azuaje and Barranco de los Cernicalos, Kestrels' ravine.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Gran Canaria after forest fire 2019, Cruz de Tejeda - Artenara

These pines kept their needles, although they are dry and yellow. I think they have a good chance of recovery.

I was hoping to never write this kind of report again, but it was not to be.

Only two years after the fire which started inside Caldera de Tejeda and burned the Parador de Tejeda hotel, and despite the controlled burns in the central areas of Gran Canaria, another fire ran through the tops of the island, Las Cumbres. Several fires, to be precise, one of them, tagged in social media with #IFValleseco, especially big.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Lanzarote in summer, Playa de Papagayo

Beautiful water. Playa Mujeres

This year's summer holidays were a bit scrambled for us, due to this and that. To punctuate the month of August we decided to go to Lanzarote, just for three days. We've already been to Lanzarote a few times of course. This time, the aim was to check out Playa de Papagayo, Parrot's Beach, a small cove beach not far from Playa Blanca, and La Graciosa, the smallest inhabited Canary Island, “the eighth one”.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Controlled burn, silver tansy, and heat of May

An eruption? A wildfire? Nah...
After years living on Gran Canaria I have identified for myself the three main "hanami" events. I try to go and see all three of them each year, but sometimes it proves impossible.
One of them is the blooming of almonds. Another - the blooming of tajinaste azul, blue bugloss of Gran Canaria. And the third one is the blooming of silver tansy, much less obvious event. I guess my attachment to these rare plants is mostly due to the fact that I found and identified them myself, while both almonds and tajinaste are well known seasonal attractions.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Up we go


Alien tentacles! Cthulhu raising to the surface! Tremble, you feeble humans... etc
When I went up the Mount Teide two years ago I didn't really have a plan. Well, I had the most basic of all plans - to go up and survive. People told me two things at once - first "it's kinda easy, you just need to pace yourself" and the second "but the altitude sickness can strike even the most fit people". With this mixed message in mind, I can tell you I was going up listening to myself and asking all the time "am I ok?", "am I still ok?". I was perfectly fine, but this type of self-monitoring is not conductive to enjoyment.

This time I knew it was doable, and my first concern was the weather. What if the (blasted) calima turns up again? We won't be able to see anything!

I can say straight away that we were much luckier this time - there was almost no dust in the air and the visibility was a lot better. First day, we saw Gran Canaria, La Palma and La Gomera above the sea of clouds while still on the bus. Next day, only La Gomera was visible from the top of the mountain at dawn, but that was also fine - I personally didn't even get the camera out of the backpack, see the explanation later.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Tajinaste azul and other delights

Busy busy bees

When the year is just starting and everything goes green, it is time to check on some of our favourite plants on Gran Canaria.

First plants to start flowering are almonds, no question about that. Weather was fluctuating wildly from the norm (if there is such a thing) this winter: they started already in December, coming to the crescendo in mid-January and leaving practically no flowers for the Almonds in Bloom celebration in Tejeda, which was scheduled, as always, on the first weekend of February.

Second lot is the tajinaste (or taginaste) azul, blue bugloss of Gran Canaria.*

Again, the timing varies significantly. The first time I went to see them was in the beginning of May 2015, they were almost finished, but not quite; the second time, in 2016, it was in the first half of March and they were in bloom. Last year, we went in on a scheduled hike with Arawak in April and saw only two plants already in bloom, others still firmly in bud. This year, we went on the 14 March and found the whole Barranco de la Pasadera in bloom — and not just tajinaste plants. So. If you want to go, you might want to start checking social networks in the first half of March. Somebody from Gran Canaria is bound to publish some pics as soon as the first flowers appear.

There is very little to write really — just enjoy the pics :)