Strange Caterpillars

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,…

April 20, 2008

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 3, 2008

The Caldera Campsite

If you’re very fit, you can see the Caldera national park on a one-day hike. But it’s 27 km of rough going, (from the Los Brecitos viewpoint, via the campsite, to the Barranco de las Angustias) and I wouldn’t dare try it myself these days. The alternative is to spend a night or two at the campsite in the centre of the park, right by the river. This makes it…

March 18, 2008