Blessing animals in Fuencaliente

Tuesday 17th is the fiesta of San Antonio Abad (St. Anthony the Abbot) in Fuencaliente, and at midday the priest holds a special, traditional service to bless the animals in the church square. I went a couple of years ago, out of curiosity. I didn’t know whether to expect pets or farm animals, but there was a charnming selection of both. At twelve promptly, the priest came out, gave a…

January 13, 2012

San Antonio del Monte, 2011

Dancing at San Antonio del Monte, Garafía
June 10, 2011

  This weekend will see the biggest livestock fair on the island, in Garafía. San Antonio del Monte used to be a village, but the villagers moved away. About the only thing that’s left is the church of St. Anthony and the feast day, with it’s massive fair. Apart from the animals, there’s a craft fair, and of course lots of stalls selling cheap toys, food and drink. It’s a…


Geckos on La Palma

This is a gecko (Tarentola delalandii). Geckos are quite common in the warmer parts of La Palma. They like to live in warm buildings or on sunny walls outside, and this one lives in my house. I think he must have got too close to one of my cats because his tail’s regrowing. You see, if they’re in serious danger of being eaten, their tails come off and provide a…

June 3, 2011

Giant Lizards

Gallotia auaritae, the giant Palmeran lizard
February 16, 2008

  Yesterday I clean forgot that in December last year they found out that the giant Canarian lizard, Gallotia auaritae, isn’t extinct after all. José Antonio Mateo, a reptile expert, only found the one, but he believes there must be a colony within a kilometre of the one he found. In this case, “giant” means 30 cm (one foot) long. Extinct specimens are larger. Twenty-five years ago, they thought Gallotia…



May 23, 2007

I went out to photograph the flowers beside the bus stop, opposite my house. And I wound up photographing lizards instead. This one’s male – you can tell by the blue throat patch. I’ve been working on the novel again, for the first time in months. So far all I’ve been doing is re-reading the 50,000 words I’ve written so far and taking copious notes.