Sunday, March 26, 2017

Orchids blooming in the Spring.

Anacamptis pyramidalis is practically present on the whole island. At the beginning of summer, it often makes large colonies in meadows.

Its red-violet spike, conical at blooming, is quite distinctive. Flowers are numerous, close to each other showing a three-lobed lip and bearing some small lamellum-shaped excrescences at base. These lamellae are useful in guiding the proboscis of pollinating butterflies. 

According to the wikipedia this orchid is especially common on the Isle of Wight  and was designated the county plant in 2008. In Menorca is quite common too.

The dried and ground tuber gives a fine white powder, called salep. This is a very nutritious sweet starchlike substance. It is used in drinks, cereals and in making bread. It is also used medicinally in diets for children and convalescents.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Cattle egret in the wet meadows at 'Sa Marjal'

The cattle egret is a popular bird with cattle herds for its well known role as a biocontroller of cattle parasites like flies and ticks. 

The presence of this bird in Menorca has gone from being sparsely wintering to abundant and sedentary in the last years. It can be seen in the newly plowed fields and accompanying the herds of cattle grazing in the meadows.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Es Fus de Sa Geganta

This Menhir, or standing stone, is very close to the prehistoric settelment of 'Torralba d'en Salort'. I have no doubt that it is in one way or another linked to it, althought  menhirs are not frequent among the works of the Talayotic culture of the primitive inhabitants of Menorca.

Its popular name 'Es Fus de Sa Geganta' means the Spindle of the Giantess and refers to one of the many legends that are told about it.

Another one of those legends speaks of a man of colossal dimensions that lived in the times in which the natives constructed the megalithic Taulas and Talayots that so much abound in Menorca. The inhabitants of the village worshiped him for his strength and ability to work and that admiration made him vain and arrogant.

The Gods, offended by this vanity, buried him beneath the earth and only left him a finger outside, pointing to the sky, pointing to the Gods who do not forgive that humans, however powerful they may be, forget that they are just that: humans.