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

Pirate’s Day 2018

  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. Tomorrow (Saturday 4th August) is Pirate’s Day (Dia del Corsario) and there’ll be a reenactment starting at 6pm by the Naval Museum (the copy of Columbus’s ship at one end of…

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The ancient rock carving at Lomo Estrecho, El Paso, La Palma

Lomo Estrecho

I went for a walk to Lomo Estrecho. Starting from the Caldera visitor centre, you take the LP 302 towards the better-known Cumbrecita car park, but instead of taking the turning to Cumbrecita you carry on as far as you can go in a normal car, or about 1 km beyond that to the recycling bins if you’re in a 4×4. From there you walk up the track marked “Pista…

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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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