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

Blood moon

On Friday night the moon will be blood red when it rises. this is because the Sun, Earth and Moon will be in a straight line, and the moon will be in the Earth’s shadow. But the Earth’s atmosphere acts like a prism, sending red sunlight into that shadow. Instead of going completely dark, the moon will be blood red. Lunar eclipses are less common than solar ones, but when…

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Mulberries

  Mulberries were originally introduced to the greener parts of La Palma to feed silkworms for silk production. The fruit is a delicious side-effect. Sadly, you rarely see it on sale, because it’s fragile and doesn’t keep. It’s also a strong, natural dye (and is used as such). If you pick your own, expect stained fingers and watch your clothes. In fact, if you’re staying near a mulberry tree in fruit,…

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The Romeria de San Antonio

A romería is a cross between a religious procession and a party. Typically, they hold a special mass and then take the statue out for several kilometres along a traditional route, followed by floats which hand out free food and wine, and lots of people, some in traditional dress, many of them singing and / or dancing. Since it’s a big event, most of them don’t happen every year, but…

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The Dragon Tree Viewpoint

  There’s a rather nice viewpoint in Puntagorda, on the main road at km 78. Its most obvious attraction is the dragon tree, leaning much further over than the tower at Pisa. > But when I was last there, I was charmed by a tame red-billed chough, Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax barbarus. They’re relatives of rooks and crows, but this particular sub-species only lives on La Palma where they’re called grajas. They’re…

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Cyclanthera pedata, known as kaywa or caigua

How to cook Caigua

The plant Cyclanthera pedata has a lot of names: Caigua, kaywa, caihua, caygua, cayua, achuqcha, achocha, achogcha, achojcha, achokcha, archucha. It’s a herbacious vine which originally comes from the Andes (Bolivia to Columbia). You eat the fruit, but cook it like a vegetable. Slice each fruit opem, remove the seeds, fill with whatever you fancy, and put it in the oven for a bit. The traditional filling is minced beef,…

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The Topo area of El Tablado, La Palma island

El Tablado

El Tablado is a little village in Garafia in the north of the island. It’s rather remote, because you have to drive about 50 km on the main road from Santa Cruz, and a further 6km down the side road to get to the top end of the village. The Topo lookout point is near the fist cluster of houses (as opposed to isolated houses). It gives a spectacularview over…

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