Pillow lava

Pillow lava in the Caldera de Taburiente
March 31, 2018

Pillow lava is formed underwater, on the sea-bed. When the lava comes out and hits the sea water, the outside cools and freezes pretty much immediately, while the inside keeps on flowing. That means that it forms tube, which lengthens and widens until the pressure at the inlet end breaks open the tube and starts a new one. So you get the tubes interlocking. This is how La Palma grew…

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Napeloen Bonepart in the Caldera de Taburiente

At the top of the Caldera there’s a rock formation that from one angle looks distinctly like Napoleon Bonepart, or an native American. So it’s called Boniface or El Indio. This photo is taken from below the Roque de las Viñas, beside the vineyard. The best viewpoint has a lethal drop and no guard rail. It’s totally unsuitable for small children, people with vertigo, and idiots. I’m assuming readers of…

March 8, 2018
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A rainbow in La Cumbrecita

A rainbow from Las Chozas viewpoint, Caldera de Taburiente, La Palma
October 22, 2017

One of the best places to admire the Caldera de Taburiente is La Cumbrecita, a notch in the south-east wall of the crater. You get there by taking the main road between Santa Cruz and Los Llanos to the Caldera Visitors’ Centre (above El Paso). Because the car park at La Cumbrecita is small, you have to go into the visitors’ centre and book a place in the queue (tip,…

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Canary Pine Trees

September 6, 2017

Today I visited Cumbrecita, and I fell in love with Canary pine trees all over again. So many of them look as though they’ve been carefully trained into artistic shapes, like gigantic bonsai trees. So here are a few of my favourites.

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Strange Caterpillars

April 26, 2017

Yponomenta gigas caterpillars and web. I’d never heard of caterpillars that make cobwebs before, but these do. Like many others caterpilars in the family of ermine moths, they form communal webs. I suppose it discourages birds from sticking their beaks in. My book on Canarian insects doesn’t mention them at all, but then they aren’t easy to find unless you know where to look. They live on the Canarian Willow,…

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Wildlife in the Caldera

Little Perez's frog in the Caldera de Taburiente, La Palma
October 2, 2016

La Palma popped up out of the ocean only 3 million years ago, so the wildlife either flew here by itself, floated here by itself, or hitched a lift with humans. Consequently there are no bears or wolves or deer. For all that, there are some interesting insects in the Caldera. For example, there are the blue dragonflies, pictured above. They’re really quite common, although they zip around so fast…

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