• The Seer’s Stone
  • The Dodo Dragon and other stories
  • About Sheila Crosby
  • A Breathtaking Window on the Universe

Almond Blossom in the north west

The north-west of the island is home to great many almond trees. The almonds they produce are rather small and bitter so they don’t fetch a good price these days, and many of them aren’t harvested, although they’re sill used in many traditional desserts. At this time of the year, the trees are all blossoming. The trees in El Paso and Garafía are beautiful, but the best display of all…


The Caldera

The heart of the island is the Caldera de Taburiente. Caldera is a technical geological term for the crater at the top of a volcano. In fact the term comes from La Palma: all the volcanic calderas in the world were named after ours. So it’s really a pity that, since then, the scientists have found out that the Caldera de Taburiete isn’t a caldera. It was actually formed by…


The windmill at Buracas

The windmill at Buracas was designed by Isidoro Ortega Sánchez (1843-1913), an engineer from Mazo. Isidoro was self taught, but he clearly thought it through very thoroughly.   The windmill’s largely made of tea, the heart wood of a Canarian pine. It’s much cheaper than stone, easily available in most of the island, and it lasts really well, and the construction’s rather simple.   There’s a mechanism to turn the sails…

A wooden windmill

The gofio museum at Buracas

Gofio is the traditional staple food in the Canaries, like potatoes in Ireland or rice in Japan. It’s made by toasting cereal grains and then grinding them. You can use almost any cereal: wheat, barley, rye, maize, oats. You can also use lentils, chick peas or lupin seeds. My personal favourite is the 7-grain wholemeal variety. It’s such an important part of Canarian culture that I wasn’t surprised to find…

The Large Size Telescope under construction, Roque de Los Muchachos, Garafia, La Palma

Progress on the Large Size Telescope

To my surprise, I don’t seem to have given an update on the Large Sized Telescope for a year when the foundations were complete. They’ve done a lot since then! Much of the support structure for the main mirror has been built now, and as you can see, it’s an impressive size. When they’ve fitted all the segments, the mirror will be 23 m (76 ft) across. There’s still lots…