Blog Archives

Chanajiga in May with lots of flowers and butterflies

A view from the track as we were returning to the start.

My blog of 31st July, 2015, describes a walk from Chanajiga Recreation area high above Los Realejos in the Orotava valley. I love going there in the summer on a clear day to get the views and enjoy a shady walk. This year I went at the end of May when the flowers and insects were amazing. I was with my husband who is not a walker, but loves nature, so we just did a there and back walk on the lower track.

Canary Strawberry Tree (Arbutus canariensis) an endemic tree, showing its characteristic smooth red bark

On arriving at the barbecue area there is a wide part of the track where we parked, and then continued on the same track for as long as we felt like, returning the same way. It was a delightful walk. The photos below are some of the delights we saw.

Atlantic Islands Buttercup (Ranunculus cortusifolius) still in flower at the end of May

Large-leaved St John’s Wort (Hypericum grandifolium)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small White Butterfly (Pieris rapae) on Canary Geranium flowers (Geranium reuteri

Spoon-leaved houseleek (Aeonium spathulatum) growing on the cliff at the side of the track

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Hummingbird Hawk-moth or Bee Moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) feeding on Vipers Bugloss (Echium vulgare) Sorry the picture not clear! They don’t stay still! I saw several around this time in May, including in the National Park at the El Portillo botanic garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pericallis cruenta – a relative of Cineraria

 

 

Canary houseleek (Aeonium canariense) on the rocky cliffs above the track

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canary Red Admiral butterfly (Vanessa vulcania) on Echium strictum

 

Cardinal butterfly (Argynnis pandora) on Pitch plant flower (Psoralea bituminosa)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.