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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The Coloured Waterfall (Cascada de colores)

September 28, 2016

On Monday I hiked up into the Caldera de Taburiente to finally see the famous Coloured Waterfall. By my standards it was a long hike since it’s 5.5 km each way, although it’s pretty level. (That is, A Dutchman wouldn’t consider it flat, but you only climb about 200 m in 4.5 km. If you carry on to the camp site, that’s another 350 m climb in 3.2 km) The…

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New plants in the Caldera

La Palma is very popular with botanists, because there are hundreds of species of plants which grow wild only on La Palma. When three employees of the Caldera National Park went to do a survey on the north slope of Bejenado in the Caldera, the got four nice surprises. The first three are in the Rock Rose family. Helianthemum broussonetii is a bush with white flowers which grows around Los…

August 7, 2014
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Prehistoric Rock Carvings

The people who lived here before the Spanish invasion in 1493 were called Benauaritas. Since they didn’t have writing, not all that much is known about them, and what there is comes from the invaders. Not exactly an unbiased source! Their technology was pretty basic, maybe because the climate in La Palma is kind enough not to encourage things like weaving. They wore skins, lived mostly in caves, herded goats…

April 28, 2014
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Napeloen Bonepart in the Caldera de Taburiente

A couple of weeks ago, I promised more photos of 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 indian. 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…

March 20, 2014
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Who lived on La Palma before the Spanish?

The people who lived on La Palma before the Spanish arrived in 1493 called the island Benahoare, and themselves Benahorita. (Or according to some people, Benawara and Benawaritas. They insist their spelling is correct. I find this odd, because to me the correct spelling would be the one the people themselves used, only they didn’t write.) The Benahorita probably arrived on La Palma somewhere between 1000 BC and 100 BC,…

May 25, 2013
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