Ravens released in Barcelona


We very much enjoyed taking part in the release of two young ravens in Ciutadella park by the wildlife group Galanthus last August. These juvenile ravens, of unknown precedence, had been captured in the streets of Barcelona and taken to a wildlife recovery centre. A few weeks ago they were still flying over the zoo, where they have taken up residence. On the left with the raven-proof gloves Eduard Durany. On the right, Albert with the smile. More here

Gaudí’s marine tiles

guadi floor tile

Antoni Gaudí’s work was deeply inspired by the natural forms of the Mediterranean and its wildlife. Here, his famous pavement tiles (1904-06) along Passeig de Gràcia decorated with octopuses, anominites, seaweed and brittle stars laid out sinuously on a sandy floor. The hexagons are perhaps based on honeycomb or more appropriately given the marine theme on a turtle shell.. Image from Museu de Catalunya.

Lace bugs

Sycamore lace bug

The commonest tree by far in Barcelona is the London plane (Platanus x acerifolia), a hybrid of Turkish and American ancestors. It is tolerant of atmospheric pollution which it deals with by constantly shedding its flaky bark – itself a way its wild relatives combat parasites. Peel off their bark and you may find tiny Sycamore lace bugs (Corythucha ciliata), gorgeously intricate under the magnifying glass, although these pests suck on the tree’s sap and lead to its early death.

“Corythucha.ciliata.1” by I, Sarefo. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Emil Adolf Rossmässler in Barcelona

Recuerdos de un viajero por España de Emil Adolf Rossmassler

The German naturalist Emil Adolf Rossmässler visted Barcelona in March 1856 on his study trip around Spain. Here he expalins why palm trees were still struggled in the city. Coming at the end of the so-called Little Ice Age temperatures were still too low.

Palm trees still do not trust Barcelona. On Palm Sunday I found thick ice in Pedralbes at midday in the shade of a house. [Elsewhere] in the botanical garden, a date palm struggled even though there was a protected corner. From “Recuerdos de un viajero por España de Emil Adolf Rossmassler”

See aslo The tallest palm tree in Barcelona