All posts by clive

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.

Flowering plants – May in the Sierra de Grazalema

Spring is in full swing during the month of May and the plants in flower are so numerous that it is difficult to choose which ones to mention here. You will see that the waysides and meadows hold a tremendous variety, pause to count how many species you can find in just one square metre! Note that there is a subtle difference between the flowering times in the sheltered valleys to that of the exposed higher pastures. Look below the featured plants here, to see a condensed list to whet your appetite! (Grouped by colour). Continue reading Flowering plants – May in the Sierra de Grazalema