An early summer flower and butterfly walk near San Jose de los Llanos

Setting out on the path that descends from the unopened Eco Museum

Setting out on the path that descends from the unopened Eco Museum

 

We did this walk last Wednesday, 3rd June. It did not go to plan because of a path overgrown with brambles which resulted in us turning back and having to do an alternative walk to that planned. So I will not be describing the walk in detail, or sharing a GPS trail because it was a fairly haphazard route. I just wanted to share the delights of the flowers and butterflies we saw in the area.

Pine forest cistus (Cistus symphytifolium)

Pine forest cistus (Cistus symphytifolium)

In the south of Tenerife now, where I live, the flowers are getting hard to find, as it is now so dry after a dry winter and a very hot heatwave a couple of weeks ago, which finished off a lot of greenery. However, just over the watershed between Santiago del Teide and Erjos, there are still some flowers, so that is why we planned a walk there.

 

 

 

Cardinal butterfly (Argynnis pandora) on a Marian milk thistle (Silybum marina)

Cardinal butterfly (Argynnis pandora) on a Marian milk thistle (Silybum marina)

We parked at the start of the track to the rural hotel which leaves the Eco Museum roundabout about 1km west of the turning to San Jose de los Llanos on the TF-373. (The Eco Museum is a low traditional building to the north of the roundabout which was built and completed a few years ago but has not yet opened.  The building is used once a year for a threshing festival in late July, but is otherwise unused.)

Yellow under Pearl moth (Uresiphita polygonalis)

Yellow under Pearl moth (Uresiphita polygonalis)

We planned to do a circle starting to the north of the road, crossing at San Jose de los Llanos and finishing the circle on the south of the road, which we did, but not quite the route planned.  The north side of the road has some remnants of laurel forest, and a lot of lush vegetation, with little farms in between, whereas the south side of the road is the edge of the pine forest, with a shrub covered open area around the rural hotel.

Red Madeiran sorrel - Codeso -(Rumex maderiensis) in front of the yellow-flowered bush of Sticky Broom (Adenocarpus foliosus) near the rural hotel

Red Madeiran sorrel -(Rumex maderiensis) in front of the yellow-flowered bush of Sticky Broom – Codeso -(Adenocarpus foliosus) near the rural hotel

 

Unfortunately the lushness of the area favours the growth of brambles, which we encountered blocking the path as we descended to the delightful patch of laurel forest we discovered only last July. On that walk we had encountered a very difficult and overgrown part of the path at the end of a lovely path through the laurels. This time we met a barrier of brambles before we reached that bit. Even though we had secateurs, we would have taken a long time cutting our way through the bit we saw, and we still did not know if last year’s bad patch would have been cleared so we turned around.

A neglected field full of  field poppies (Papaver rhoeas), with a little blue Vipers Bugloss (Echium vulgare) and yellow field marigolds

A neglected field full of field poppies (Papaver rhoeas), with a little blue Vipers Bugloss (Echium vulgare) and yellow field marigolds

From San Jose de los Llanos we took the track from the top of the road that passes Bar Risco and on the edge of the pines we saw several Cardinal butterflies. We were also seeing many Meadow Brown butterflies in the grassy areas, though most were uncooperative for photos! The Clouded yellow butterflies we saw lots of were all camera shy! We also saw Yellow under Pearl moths flying, and Bath White, and Canary Blue butterflies in quite large numbers. Then towards the end of the walk, we saw two Small Copper butterflies.

Meadow Brown butterfly (Maniola jurtina)

Meadow Brown butterfly (Maniola jurtina)

So I am sorry the photos are not the best, on walks it is difficult to take the necessary time to get good butterfly and moth photos – and I don’t carry my big camera either.  As it is I am not very popular with my walking companions for breaking off conversations on a butterfly hunt, and ending up well behind and having to catch up!

Malfurada (Hypericum grandifolium), a yellow flowered plant typical of the laurel forest and its edges, in front of the more Madeira sorrel

Malfurada (Hypericum grandifolium), a yellow flowered plant typical of the laurel forest and its edges, in front of the more Madeira sorrel

 

However, I hope the description of some of the lovely flowers and butterflies and moths that can be seen will inspire you to go out and look for them.

Small Copper butterfly (Lycaena phlaeas)

Small Copper butterfly (Lycaena phlaeas)

The path near the end of our walk passed through this narrow valley between two hills.

The path near the end of our walk passed through this narrow valley between two hills.

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About Sally Whymark

When I retired and moved out to Tenerife a few years ago, one of the things I really wanted to do was go walking in the mountains. The scenery is very dramatic, and varied. The views are amazing. The native birds and butterflies and other fauna are remarkable. But the flowers - they're just stunning. Little did I know how this would fire up my interest in plants. While living in England, I had always had an interest in flowers and plants, indeed I ran a plant nursery with my husband for many years, but had not spent a great deal of time pursuing botany. But when walking in Tenerife, I noticed all the unfamiliar shapes of the local flowers, and longed to find out more about them. There are literally hundreds of species endemic to just Tenerife (or even just one part of it), the Canary Islands, or Macronesia (the Atlantic Islands, including Madeira, Canaries and Azores). They are so exciting, and so many of them are really showy as well. So I have started this blog to share with you my excitement at all the great sights I see when walking in Tenerife. I hope you'll enjoy it - and want to come here and experience it for yourself.

Posted on June 8, 2015, in Botanical interest, Walks in Tenerife, West Tenerife and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. We are staying for a couple of weeks at Green Garden Resort (http://www.apollo.no/reiser/europa/spania/kanarioyene/tenerife/playa-de-las-americas/hotell/green-garden-resort)

    Any recommendations on walks from there? (Las Americas?)

    • Walking directly from Playa de las Americas is difficult. There is a very nice sea front promenade which runs from Los Cristianos to La Caleta via Las Americas but it is very busy. You can walk up the mountains directly from San Eugenio area but it is steep,hot work requiring stamina and excellent footwear. Far better to catch a bus from the Las Americas bus station up to Arona, or Vilaflor or the National Park and do one of the walks from the book or the blog. If you prefer a guide, I can recommend Andy, who knows the island well, and will organize something according to your requirements. You can contact him on the following site:
      http://tenerife-guided-walks.com

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