Monday, August 01, 2016

Psychoactive plants illustrated

Inspired by Josep Lluís Berdonces i Serra's Guía de las plantas psicoactivas, here's our own short guide to ten common psychoactive plants and one famous psychedelic mushroom. It's just a sample, you understand. Click on "more photos" links under each image to get more Tamara's pictures from Shutterstock.

  1. Amanita muscaria, fly agaric, amanita matamoscas, мухомор красный. Main psychoactive compounds: muscimol, ibotenic acid.
  2. Fly agaric (more photos)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Flora of Gran Canaria - Tanacetum ptarmiciflorum, silver lace plant

Silver Leaf, Silver Feather, silver tansy, Magarza Plateada - common names describe the silvery leaves of the plant. Taken mid-May, in a relatively shady spot

I first noticed unusual-looking leaves of this plant in early spring last year. They were growing in compact round bushes, something between 40 cm and 80 cm in height. The color of the leaves was very distinct - light cyan. When you look closely at the leaves, you notice they are covered with short white fluff. The shape of each leave is very neat, Irish lace-like.

I made a note to myself to find out what the plants were. They turned out to be Tanacetum ptarmiciflorum, Gran Canaria endemic and endangered species according to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List. I like plants in general, but finding something endemic and rare is always more pleasing. Especially when something in question is beautiful.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Gran Canaria, Cuevas de Caballero, stone face and silver tansy

Panorama taken from the top of the Risco

We came to the place to check out if Tanacetum ptarmiciflorum, the silver lace plants, have started to bloom yet. They have not, but their silvery leaves are beautiful as ever.

The species is listed as endangered, and is endemic to Gran Canaria. The Red List points out five known location, mentioning that the earlier reported site at Cuevas de Caballero was not found during the 2009 survey. I am not sure if the location we came to see was the one they mispaced. Maybe, or maybe not, since one of the locations that are confirmed is vaguely described as "Tejeda" (village? municipality? o que?).

Tanacetum ptarmiciflorum, silver lace, silver feather. I myself like to call it silver tansy

Anyway, I guess I'd like to stress at this point that the plant is endangered and please don't pick up bunches or trample over them. They are joy to behold in any case. I do hope to catch the time of bloom, and then I'll add more pics.

And now for something completely different: the stone face :)

Monday, April 25, 2016

Caldera de Tejeda in April: Flowers

Erysimum albescens, "wallflower" endemic to Gran Canaria
It is extremely rare not to see at least something flowering in Las Cumbres, The Peaks of Gran Canaria. But I figure from two-year observation that the maximum of flowering falls onto beginning - mid April. This year I missed the moment, due to this and that, but when I finally got there there was still plenty of flowers for me to look at and photograph.

Once of Cruz de Tejeda, you don't have to go far to get to the place where on a small spot you will find everything on the photographs below - and more. I hesitate to enclose ALL the pics I took. Head towards Roque Nublo, (signposted Llanos de la Pez). About a kilometer away, you will see a house surrounded by a fence. There is usually a couple of big dogs there. One of them, the friendly while totally huge newfoundland dog, occasionally hangs out *outside* of the fence. Don't be alarmed, he is a gentle soul. The area around the house is relatively flat, rare thing in those parts. Poke around a little. There is a lot of yellow Teline broom and lilac crucifer Erysimum- complementary color combination, really striking. Less showy flowers and plants are found in plenty on the same spot.

I am always interested to find out the correct names of the plants (and not only plants), and I make my best effort identifying them. Sometimes I fail, of course. So if you know for sure what plants are called and spot a mistake, please yell me. 

Enjoy :)

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Yarn Bombing, Calle Viera y Clavijo, Santa Cruz de Tenerife

We had quiet and uneventful Easter holidays on Tenerife. I didn't take a lot of pictures, except for some plants in the Botanical Garden and a whole street full of knitted trees in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. I am not sure who are the authors and how all that came about, but it looked cute. Have a look if you are interested.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Echium callithyrsum, blue candles of Gran Canaria, second go

Tajinaste azul

Last year I found these beautiful blue flowers for the first time, but I set out to look for them a bit too late. This year I wanted to make sure I catch them at the peak of flowering.

So as soon as I spotted some photos of them on facebook, I started to plan my next visit. The biggest colony of them is (still) at Tenteniguada, so I went there. It was cloudy in Las Palmas but as the bus approached the village, the sun came out. It was playing hide-and-seek all the time I was there. It seemed that donkey's belly, the cloud cover of the north, ended just about above Valsequillo.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Cruz de Tejeda — La Ventana del Nublo

Here it is. At least one version of "it"*

While winter lasts and walking conditions are favorable I try to do at least one hike a week. During the last two I tried to find an interesting rock formation, called La Ventana del Nublo (The Window to the Cloud Rock). The first time I failed, because I didn't allow myself enough time and had to go back before reaching it. Second time I succeeded, so here is a small report.