All posts by clive

August flowers in the Sierra de Grazalema

This is a golden month, as most annual flowers have finished their colourful phase, produced their seed heads and dried completely to a straw colour. Although if you look in the right places there are still flowers to be found; watercourses, irrigated areas, animal watering troughs, damp meadows and high mountains will offer the best selection. However, this is also a good month to see insects such as dragonflies, mantis and bushcrickets! Continue reading August flowers in the Sierra de Grazalema

The Joaldunak from Head to Toe | Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Our Joaldunak have just come back from the states – an incredible trip for some of them who have never even left The Basque Country or Spain before. Here Lazaro talks about the symbolism behind the Joaldunaks’ dress, bells and horns etc. Welcome home boys (they will be visiting and blessing my house in our hamlet of Ameztia in a couple of months time) as always, an absolute honour and a very moving experience.

The Joaldunak from Head to Toe | Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Their rhythmic ringing can be heard across the Folklife Festival, and their elaborate dress attracts every smartphone camera. These are the Joaldunak, a Basque procession group that literally translates to “people with bells.” The group has mysterious origins. Even anthropologists haven’t bee

More info at the Facebook page of the Pyrenean Experience

June – SUMMER MEADOWS AND MOUNTAINS – Numerous butterflies, reptiles, dragonflies, delicate thread-winged lacewings and other interesting insects.

In the summer, water is very important to birds as much as it is to us humans. The heat makes it easier to see birds in certain areas: for example at natural springs around Grazalema in the morning where birds gather for drink, food and a bit of socialising. June, July and even August are the months when one can see particularly great numbers of juvenile birds, something that also makes the parents easier to observe as they fuss over their clumsy and inexperienced offspring, feeding them on tree branches and on the ground, teaching them by example about the world and survival.  Bold birds get even bolder, such as the colourful Woodchat Shrike whose families move from one Hawthorn bush to another as the greyish- brown young make hissing and chattering noises demanding food.  It is pure joy to be able to observe the normally shy Hoopoe when the parents and the young probe the ground under trees for tasty morsels. Continue reading June – SUMMER MEADOWS AND MOUNTAINS – Numerous butterflies, reptiles, dragonflies, delicate thread-winged lacewings and other interesting insects.