The fire’s controlled!

The fire isn’t out, and won’t be completely out for weeks, but it’s controlled. See But on Sunday night, I had the uncomfortable experience of shutting up a house in the fire’s path. Not my house – this was a friend who couldn’t do it for herself. So you water the garden around the house as much as possible to form a firebreak, and you wet any woodwork as…

August 9, 2016

Virga clouds

A virga cloud (rain without reaching the ground) over La Palma
August 5, 2016

La Palma is on fire. See My house is quite safe, but not all my friends are. A lot of the south west of the island has burned, but the fire appears to be under some sort of control on most fronts. Most of it is too depressing to talk about. Anyway, as a result I learned about a new type of cloud. A virga cloud produces rain that…


A Canarian Snowman

A foot-high snowman
February 26, 2016

I slept badly on Wednesday night, so I wasn’t in the mood for a long excursion on Thursday, but I really enjoyed it. As we ate our picnic lunch we could see the snow on the peaks. Sure enough, there was pletny of snow still up there, although it was really warm, about 15 ºC. We stopped first beside the MAGIC telescope for a photo opportunity, and I couldn’t resist…


Time for some fun.

It’s been freakishly warm for months, but winter suddenly arrived on Thursday. I pretty much spent the day hibernating, apart form German class. Yesterday morning I went into town. It was raining but that usually means very short queues everywhere. I didn’t take an umbrella because of the gusty wind, just a cagoule. I got everything done, with gaps of waiting around in shops for the heavy showers, then headed…

February 20, 2016

Rock Art

A wet, spiral rock carving at La Zarzita, Garafia, La Palma island
November 24, 2015

I’ve been having fun hunting up the local rock art with an archeologist from Northumbria. There’s lots of it, but while the rock art from the North Pennines is about 5,000 – 3,000 years old, the Palmeran art is much newer at 1,200 – 500 years old. We went to El Verde near El Paso cemetery, where most of the carvings line up with midsummer sunset or midwinter sunset (well,…


Thieving Ravens!

A raven getting curious about Sheila Crosby's books, Roque de Los Muchachos, La Palma
October 4, 2015

On Saturday I was in the Roque car park selling books from the boot of my car, when the ravens turned up, begging for food. That’s why I keep cat food in the car, specially for them. Then they got curious about the boot of my car and the books. I started to get a bit nervous when s/ze took an interest in my pot of change. That’s the black…