Gwent Touring Band, a Welsh band, visited Menorca thanks to Rotary Club
of Menorca’s sponsorship. The band offered a series of free
performances, which have left only good memories on the island thanks to
the band’s professional and human qualities.
It wasa beautiful morning. Sunny and warm. The routeoutlined belowisabout six milesandruns alongrural tracksthrough meadowsandwoods.
The road here is quite narrow, so the cars should be left at theshrine ofBinixems. From here, leavingthe little churchon the rightand keep walking until youfind on the right hand side atrackwiththe name "Cami denRossi". From this point up toSubaidathe route passes throughan area with very diverse wildlife.
Asparagus acutifolius, common name Wild Asparagus, is an evergreen perennial plant belonging to the genus Asparagus of the Liliaceae family. The Latin name acutifolius
of this species, meaning "thorny leaves", derives from the
characteristics shape of the leaves, a quite common feature in the
typical plants of the Mediterranean.
Each springmany people in the island collectthemon tracksand sidewalks.The next step is a homemade quiche with wild asparagus.
Ophrys tenthredinifera is a species of orchid native to the Mediterranean. This orchid has rose coloured sepals that contrast with the exterior
labellum, which is yellow in colour and trapezoidal in form. This
labellum is necked with a small raised protuberance.
Scarlet pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis; also known as red pimpernel, red chickweed, poorman's barometer, poor man's weather-glass, shepherd's weather glass or shepherd's clock) is a low-growing annual plant. The native range of the species is Europe and Western and North Africa. The species has been distributed widely by humans, either deliberately as an ornamental flower or accidentally.
Blue-flowered plants (A. arvensis Forma azurea) are common in Menorca.
Subaida. One of the mostextensive farming estatesof the island andwell known forthe qualityof the cheese they make, very appreciated by restaurants and cheesemongers.
The Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) is a butterfly found in the borders of woodland throughout much of the Paleartic ecozone. In North Europe, Central Europe, Asia Minor, Syria, Russia and Central Asia.
The speckled wood occupies a diversity of grassy, flowery habitats in
forest, meadow steppe, forest, woods, glades, alongside hedges and and
in wooded urban parks. It is found up to 1500 m. above sea level.
While having a stroll yesterday evening we could hear thesong ofa European Nightjar. Thefirst I'veheardthis year. Thebird faunathat can be seeninMenorcachangesgreatly depending onthe seasons.
European Nightjar (Caprimulgus Europaeus)
Click here to hear their song. Nightjars are nocturnal birds and can be seen hawking for food at dusk
and dawn. With pointed wings and a long tails their shape is similar to a
kestrel or cuckoo. Their cryptic, grey-brown, mottled, streaked and
barred plumage provides ideal camouflage in the daytime. They have an
almost supernatural reputation with their silent flight and their
mythical ability to steal milk from goats. The first indication that a
nightjar is near is usually the male's churring song, rising and falling
with a ventriloquial quality.
A few weeks agoinany gardenRobins couldbe seen very often, andon the sidewalks of the roads there were always white wagtails. Today theyare not inMenorca. Theyspent the winterwith us butthey dont enjoyour summerand return totheir Northern breeding places. They will be back in October.
White Wagtail (Motacilla Alba)
Click here to hear their song.
A delightful small, long-tailed and rather sprightly black and white
bird. When not standing and frantically wagging its tail up and down it
can be seen dashing about over lawns or car parks in search of food. It
frequently calls when in its undulating flight and often gathers at dusk
to form large roosts in city centres
European Robin (Erithacus Rubecola)
Click here to hear their song.
Males and females look
identical, and young birds have no red breast and are spotted with
golden brown. Robins sing nearly all year round and despite their cute
appearance, they are aggressively territorial and are quick to drive
away intruders. They will sing at night next to street lights
Spain is especially renowned for its Holy Week traditions or Semana Santa.
A common feature in most of those processions is the almost general usage of the nazareno
or penitential robe for some of the participants in the processions.
This garment consists in a tunic, a hood with conical tip
used to conceal the face of the wearer, and sometimes a cloak. The
exact colors and forms of these robes depend on the particular
procession. The robes were widely used in the medieval period for
penitents, who could demonstrate their penance while still masking their
identity. These nazarenos carry processional candles or rough-hewn wooden crosses,
Holy week events started last Sunday in Mahón.
Holy Friday 2009. Penitential Brotherhood La Soledad. Mahón.
Pistacia lentiscus is a shrub or dioecious tree, with separate male and female plants, evergreen from 1 to 5 m high, with a strong smell of resin, growing in dry and rocky areas in Mediterranean Europe.
It resists heavy frosts and grows on all types of soils, and can grow
well in limestone areas and even in salty or saline environments, like it does in Menorca.
The aromatic, ivory coloured resin, also known as mastic, is used either as a flavouring or for its gum properties. People in the Mediterranean Area have used mastic as a medicine for gastrointestinal ailments for several thousand years.
Talatí de Dalt is one of the most remarkable prehistoric settlements on the island.
several monuments: a plant talayot elliptical conical profile, the
taula enclosure, housing sector or houses that conserve deck slabs
placed radially and supported on columns (called hypostyle halls) and
Arisarum Vulgare, common name of the Friar's Cowl or Larus , is an herbaceous, perennial, with an underground rizhome plant in the genus Arisarum.
A single leaflike bract (spathe) forms a purplish-brown or olive green
striped tube about 5 inches long, with an open upper part helmet or
hood-shaped curved forward. It is exceptionally common in Menorca during the wet season. Normally November to April.
A long time ago, being an orchid hunter wasn’t just for orchid lovers. It was a real profession. During the 18th
century this profession reached a new peak. Because of the high demand
for orchids, people went in search for these plants in the wild. And
back then, the places where orchid hunting took them were very
dangerous. In fact, people lost limbs, got eaten by animals,
disappeared, and even died because of the danger that came with orchid
There was a story about a group of people who went to the
Philippines in 1901 to search for wild orchids. There were eight of
them that started the journey, but only one came back alive. One was
said to be eaten by tigers. Another one was said to be burned alive, and
the other five just disappeared.
Another story tells of a group
of hunters who went to Papua New Guinea. Before their journey finished,
their group was captured by the natives. Two of them were even beheaded.
Lucky for the other members there was a rescue party sent to save them.
Orchidhuntingisusuallysynonymous withsteamy junglesandnot Minorcan grasslands,butin our islandwe have our ownmodest collection ofnativeorchids, which like theirtropicalcousins, one has to lookcarefully.
For monthsI wanted tofind a dayto dedicateto thisparticular "orchid hunting" which in my casedoes not involvecollectingthe plantbut onlyto take picturesof it.
Ophys Lutea: Broad asymmetric lateral sepals, dorsal sepal lowered. Extended petals, yellow or with a blue-grey or brown spotted velvety macula. Pollinated by male Andrena bees. This species is notable among Ophrys for the fact that the pollinating bees sit on the labellum facing away from the pollinaria instead of facing towards them, and thus collect the pollinaria with their abdomen.
Orchis tridentata (Three-toothed orchid) is a species of orchid found in southernEurope from Spain to Turkey and Lebanon. This orchid favors grassy places, woodland, scrub and maqui
From the small village of Es Migjorn Gran in
southern Menorca, an interesting walk can be taken through the limestone
gorge "Barranc de Binigaus" to the huge, natural cave Cove des Coloms. 24 metre high and 116 meters deep, sometimes referred to it as the Cathedral Cave due to its sheer size.
the canyon you may spot many kinds of flowers, birds and other
Hyoseris Radiatais a perennial stemless herb. Leaves are oblanceolate in outline,
glabrous, fleshy, pinnatisect, with broadly ovate to almost orbicular
lobes, entire or slightly dentate, runcinate, often overlapping, with
acute apex. Involucres are cylindrical-campanulate, and glabrous. Outer
phyllaries are ovate-lanceolate with subacute apex; while inner
phyllaries are narrowly scarious-margined with obtuse apex. Florets are
yellow. Achenes are brown, of 3 types.
Asphodelus Aestivus. The asphodel was supposed to be a remedy for poisonous snake-bites and a specific against sorcery; it was fatal to mice, but preserved pigs from disease. The Libyan nomads made their huts of asphodel stalks. In Greek legend the asphodel is one of the most famous of the plants connected with the dead and the underworld. Homer describes it as covering the great meadow (ἀσφόδελος λειμών), the haunt of the dead. It was planted on graves, and is often connected with Persephone, who appears crowned with a garland of asphodels
On the way to the cave are remains of several talayots. These
cone shaped towers date from prehistoric times, about 2000 BC.
Menorca has a rich paleontological heritage. There are exceptionally
well-preserved archaeological sites close to Cala Sant Esteve.
Nice farmhouse about a mille from Cala Sant Esteve. Along the Camí de Cavalls. I think its name is Binissaida Nou or Binissaida d'es Barracons.
During the third British occupation of Menorca, the British governor,
General Stuart, ordered the building of various Martello towers at
strategic points around the island. The Torre d´en Penjat, or
Hangmans Tower, built in 1798, by Engineer Captain Robert D´Arcy, is
just one of them. Situated to the south of the port of Mahón is a bay
called Sant Esteve, which hugs the southern side
of the castle of San Felipe, leaving the fortress vulnerable to attack.
Initially the tower was called Stuart´s Tower, later changed to
Hangman´s (Penjat) Tower, after the name of the hill where the convicts
from San Felipe were executed.
The tower was built on three levels. The ground floor was used for
storage. The first floor was the entrance and is where the troops were
housed, and the top of the tower was for combat. On the territorial side
of the tower there was a dry moat commanding a 180 degree view from
north to south, and the other side of the tower was protected by
different ground levels.
FRIDAY 1 MARCH
Day of the Balearic Islands. Commemoration of the signing of the Statue
of Autonomy of the Balearic Islands on 1 March 1983, which is the Day of
the Balearic Islands.
Events around the Day of the Balearic Islands are held in late February and early March.
Been in a guided tour to the talayotic town at Montefi. One of the largest megalithic sites in Menorca. A shame there we were only a few visitors to learn more about Menorca’s Talayotic culture (1st millennium BC).
The main Talayot in Montefi. There are three of them and several other structures around.
The old farmhouse and the traditional owen beside it.