Flora & Fauna

A Trip To The Beach

I love beaches, and the great thing about living on a small island is that you're never far from one. The smell of the sea, the sand between your toes, and the seagull trying to steal your picnic are just a few of the reasons that draw me to coast. Not fans of lying around and sunbathing however, my girlfriend, her son and I are more likely to be found surfing, snorkelling or looking for crabs in the rock pools, and we take great pleasure in the relationship we have with our natural surroundings. Crabs, parrot fish, octopuses, cuttlefish, sardines, stingrays and angel sharks are just some of the many creatures you might find swimming around or hiding amongst the rocks and sandy bottoms of Lanzarote's shores. For the nervous amongst you, don't be alarmed, if you don't bother them, they won't bother you!

Ole with baitball

There is something about beaches that bothers me however: plastic. It's an unfortunate fact, that for all it's benefits (and there are many), plastic has become so prevalent as to be a problem. It doesn't break down into anything that the can be read more »

What's The Black Stuff On The Soil In Lanzarote?

It’s called Picón, and it’s volcanic ash from the eruptions here in the 18th and 19th centuries. You’ll find it everywhere around volcanoes here. Most commonly, it’s black, but you can get a red version from areas like Montaña Roja in Playa Blanca.

Vine

Why is it used when growing stuff?

Putting a layer of picón on the soil when planting has several benefits:

It prevents soil erosion

With our incredibly dry climate and steady breezes, soil very quickly turns to dust here, and is then blown away! The weight of the picón prevents this happening.

Cactus

It acts as a weed barrier

A healthy layer of picón stops weeds poking through, and makes it easy to spot and pull them out before they get established.

Picon

It helps keep moisture in the soil

Simply having a layer on top of the soil reduces it’s direct read more »

Lots Happening At Flower Power!

Now that Spring has finally sprung in Lanzarote, we contacted our favourite garden centre – Flower Power in Macher – to ask them what’s happening there.

IMG_3768  IMG_3772

They told us that they have tons of new flowering plants, young olive trees, roses, every kind of fruit tree that grows well here, as well all the herbs, bushes and cactus they normally stock.

IMG_3791  IMG_3793 read more »

International Volunteer Day 2012

Lanzarote residents are invited to participate in a project to plant species native to the island in the Lomo de San Andrés on Sunday 2nd December.

voluntariado Lomo de San Andres 2 DecLomo_de_San_Andres

The project has been co-ordinated to be part of the Día Internacional del Voluntariado, everyone is welcome to help for 2 hours from 11:00 to 13:00. Organised by the Consejeria de Participación Ciudadana this is a chance to get involved with the local community and the biosphere of Lanzarote.

Lomo de San Andrés is situated in read more »

Eleanora's Falcons in Alegranza

The nesting season in Alegranza is coming to a close, the chicks are now starting to fly and it won’t be long before the fledglings start their first migration from the Canary Islands.

Eleanora's Falcon Chicks in AlegranzaOrnithologists in Alegranza

Photo: Eleanora’s Falcon Chicks courtesy of Lanzarote Active Club

There were 130 pairs of Eleanora’s Falcons who made the migration to Alegranza in 2012, sadly it’s not been a good breeding year, only 40% of the chicks have survived to date. We had a quick chance for a catch up on the latest news from the ornithologists from the WWF Campaña Chinijo this week during the marine reserve boat trip, where we paused at the lighthouse on the island to exchange food and supplies with the camp. Apparently, the Eleanora’s Falcons have suffered from a lack of food, their diet consists of small migratory birds, the lack of recent wind meant that their food supply ran short for a couple of weeks, thus the parents resorted to killing other chicks in order to feed their young.

The team are there to read more »

Spring birding on Lanzarote

This is a guest post from Julian who enjoys bird watching whilst during his holidays in Lanzarote.

Lanzarote has long been one of my favourite holiday destinations and as a birder I have always enjoyed my visits to the island. All my previous trips have been in late autumn or winter and have all produced good birding. The island specialities of Houbara Bustard, Cream-coloured Courser, Barbary Falcon, Trumpeter finch and Berthelot’s Pipit combined with the wading birds at Salinas de Janubio have made each visit worthwhile.

Bluethroat

White-spotted Bluethroat

In March 2012 the annual family holiday coincided with the start of the spring read more »

Flower Power Landscape Project

Flower Power is a fantastic garden centre situated in Mácher, Lanzarote they have very healthy well sized plants, at good prices.

Flower Power Garden Centre

We followed the progress of a landscape garden project that Flower Power have completed at a house in Haría. The work started back in November 2010, the lower level of this garden had not been cultivated and the area to be worked on was previously the builder’s rubbish tip.

Flower Power From This Flower Power cleared area

The first job was to clear the land of read more »

Tomato Glut

I was interested to read in Jules’s blog about the allotments available from Teguise council as I love to potter in the garden.

<Samsung i7, Samsung VLUU i7> I get a huge sense of achievement when I cook what I have grown from the smallest of seeds, and there is just no comparison on the taste of freshly picked veg. I am by no means an expert though and feel my best successes come from plants which are able to survive my somewhat sporadic care and attention.

When we moved to our present house a few years ago the previous owner told us that she had had a huerta on the NE side of the garden but it had long been neglected. This terraced part of the garden is quite sheltered and very shady all afternoon. With our gradual refurbishment of the house we attempted a general tidy of the garden and I decided to plant a few veggies just for fun.

<Samsung i7, Samsung VLUU i7> We started with a variety of plants but we have found those which are generally available in Lanzarote are obviously most suited to the climate and conditions.  Courgettes, pumpkin, melon and green beans all do well but do benefit from a daily visit. Our two older children both attended a school with a thriving veg patch and it was left to my older son to explain to me the finer points of a courgettes’ sex life! read more »

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