• The Dodo Dragon and other stories
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  • About Sheila Crosby

Yams

Yams (ñame in Spanish) are a relative of sweet potatoes. They need a lot of water to grow, so they’re only cultivated in Los Sauces and inside the Caldera. You can recognise a yam patch easily, because they have huge leaves shaped like elephants ears. The root has to be boiled for hours, so you usually buy them from the supermarket already cooked.Then, traditionally, you serve them with honey or…

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What to Feed Lizards on La Palma

Yesterday I discovered that the local lizards (Gallotia galloti palmae) are fond on watermelon on a hot day. Figures. Unlike most lizards, they eat quite a lot of plants, especially ripe fruit, to the point where they can become a nuisance in vinyards. I recently discovered that we only have one species of small lizard here. What I thought were two species is one, with different colours for males and…

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Wire frame dragonfly, with lit fireworks wooshing sparks El Borrachito fiesta, Mazo, La Palma

EL Borrachito

Last night was the “Borrachito” fiesta in Hoyo de Mazo. It starts off like a normal fiesta. There’s a stage in the village square with a band playing salsa music while people dance, and the square is lined with mobile bars and fast food stands. This goes on until about 2 am, when the fun really starts. Then this rabbit appears, looking rather like Bugs Bunny at Disney World, but…

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The snow well

On the road up to the observatory (the LP4) between Fuente de Olen and Pico de la Nieve, you can see a 17th century snow well. It worked like an northern European ice house: pack the snow in hard during the winter, cover it up, and then collect it in the summer and sell it to rich people. The main difference is that in northern Europe you don’t need a…

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La Glorieta square: Looking south, from the stage.

La Glorieta Square, El Paso

There’s a lovely little square at La Glorieta. The whole floor is covered in mosaics, as are the benches. The plants are all local ones. Most of the vertical walls are made from the local volcanic stone, as is the back of the little fountain of a mosaic chameleon. The whole lot was designed and made by a local artists, Luis Morerea . To get there take the road from…

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Pirate’s Day Reenactment

In 1553 French pirates led by François LeClerc (known as Pata de Palo or wooden leg) attacked Santa Cruz de La Palma and took the whole town over. Then they refused to go until they were paid a huge ransom. The island council, in exile in Tazacorte, tried to raise the money and negotiate a lower price. Meanwhile, a group of goat herders from Garafía led by Baltasar Martín, came…

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