Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Old trees of Irati forest. The fiel maple of orion(MN 19)

In the forest of Irati, several trees are classified as monumental, and as such, they are in the catalog of heritage trees of Navarre.

  I want to offer you some pictures of them taken now in winter , so you can see how magnificent specimens evolve throughout the year.

In this image we hve the field maple of Orion. It lies in the valley of Aezkoa( Navarre), in the way to the reservoir water of Irabia,  a little bit before reaching the hill of Ibiaga left amid meadows area.

You can leave your car in the parking of Ibiaga high :Hence, walk about 500 meters.

There is no marked way that carry you, but from the concrete way  you  will see soon.

Close by, are the hazels of Orion, also declared heritage trees.

The following information I have gotten from this direction of the Government of Navarre:

Field maple of Orion(Acer campestris)
(MN 19)


Crown projection: 15.60 x 14.90
  Diameter at base: 1.32
Diameter at height 1'30: 1'07m
Total height: 20 m.

Large and vigorous old maple that is in good condition.
about 15 or 20 years ago was struck by lightning, after which they were removed
dead branches and the crown was restored.

At the base of the trunk cracks seen at a height of 1.5 meters
you can see a branch cut. In a pruned branch sprout with
force some suckers (branches of rapid growth and vertical).

Around trunk protruding roots in a 2 meter

The specimen was declared Natural Monument in 1991.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The strange case of the mysterious substance

In early November walking near the nature reserve of Mendilatz in the Irati forest(Aezkoa Valley, Navarre) I found this substance in the meadows surrounding the reserve. Overall I found two of them.

They had no smell, had some consistency, and were slightly sticky to the touch. They weren´t  bonded to the ground by any appendage.

I sent the photo to various experts  in nature of the area, but although there were different theories, none of them seemed to fit with what could be.

Some of them talk about an artificial substance, but in that place did not seem very plausible. Also did not have any odor that could remind some chemical.

Other said it could be some kind of excrement, having ingested some gelatinous substance, like frog eggs (not yet exist) or even mistletoe fruits, but it was too dense to be something of that nature.

Another assumption was that of a kind of gelatinous fungus uncommon. It is true that there are very similar to the photography, (Myxarium nucleatum or Exidia thuretiana)

You can see something similar in these links:
The following link is interesting, because once one like it was related to the fall of a meteorite!

But do not think that is exactly none of these species, although probably will be a fungus. Nor growing on dead matter of some branch or organic waste.
If someone could give me your opinion would be very grateful, in order to be able to know more about the surprising nature that surrounds us.
You can leave a comment on the blog or write to:

1 december 2012

Few days ago, Javier, from the Ultzama mycologic park, told me maybe could be a fungus of tremellaceae family , but he coudn´t be sure with a photo.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Irati last colors and .. not buy helium balloons!

It is difficult to determine which is the time when the forest is more beautiful, but we can certainly say that now is precious. This year's leaf fall has been delayed more than last year (you can look at the blog at this time one year ago), but from here on out, sooner or later, the leaves will fall.In fact, they have already start  to do, and there are very big thicknesses in many places.

In this picture we can see the middle zone of the forest of Irati.Greens are losing every day, and give way to the yellow first, and then red and gold, which are most prevalent now.Why there is this color change?
Green indicate the presence of chlorophyll , where the plant is fed with normal light conditions.When it is decreasing, the green chlorophyll is replaced by the  yellow xanthophylls, which are activated with a shorter wavelength, and that can continue making photosynthesis more time, before being replaced by the carotenes, which are what give red in nature.When the amount of light continues to decline, even carotenes serve them to make photosynthesis, and finally they fall.If you want to know more Try these links:

Arrazola( Irati forest,Aezkoa)10 october2012

There are other factors such as protection against the cold, so in warmer areas are larger leaves to evaporate more water while in the colder, the leaves surface are reduced like simple needles, as in the Siberian taiga.

Now I will tell you the reason for my request about the balloons with helium.

This balloon hanging from a branch, in the middle of Mendilatz Nature Reserve, in the valley of Aezkoa, tells of a child who lost his balloon into the past holiday from somewhere distant. Air currents drag them tens, hundreds, or even thousands of miles to settle in places where the happiness of the party becomes human waste that causes problems.

We can see the silver ballon hanging from a branch.
We can find them in the lake of Pitillas(Navarre), in the gorges of the pyrenees, and anywhere else you can think like precious.5 years ago appeared in the branches of a beech  of Irati a Mexican probe balloon with a small capsule of polystyrene where there was a small gadget with an explanation for who met him, saying it was not dangerous. He crossed the ocean through the jet stream in the stratosphere to Irati!

Monday, October 22, 2012

They are comming fall colors !

Irati from Ibiaga (Aezkoa)
After the heavy rains of this weekend, there was an increase in the intensity of the colors, but still we have to wait some more. Probably   the maximum color will be  between this weekend and next, but can never be sure.This picture was taken at the end of the day and therefore appears somewhat dark

These images are from a trip that I made with a couple of Jaén( Spain) this morning:

The eastern part of the forest Irati (Aezkoa  and Salazar valleys) have more color than the western (Xiberoa and Aezkoa Valleys) because they are at higher altitudes. For that reason,we will always have the most advanced fall faces north (the cops) that faces south (the sunny) and in the highlands, comparing wtih the valley bottoms. This applies also to know when will the leaf or bloom in spring in some places over others.
As one example, enough it to say that when the elder begins to bloom in Pamplona / Iruña, located on the 60 km from the  forest of Irati in Aezkoa valley ,start 15 days later.

Another thing to consider is that each species of tree lost its leaves at a certain time, and the sooner  losing the leaves, earlier in the spring they will bring. Also in the forest we can distinguished by their color or details, and for the leaves giving the cup red burgundy of the opalus, or intense yellow of the maple rounded ,and the ash, more like a flame, ..

Ash in the way to the Irabia reservoir water (Aezkoa valley)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Forest of Irati in the middle of october

In two days, we will have some holydays to enjoy nature, and many people will approach to Irati forest  searching  those fall colors that we love.

It should be said that this holydays of october and November are bad dates if you want to  enjoy the forest due to the big afluence of people.I  Advise tocome at any other time of year or if this is not ,go to the  other areas of Irati differents to the reservoir water of Irabia. In any case, you will always wellcome, and as we can not always choose the days of the holiday, here you are  an example of how the forest is today.

Irati from Arrazola(Aezkoa)

 Irabia reservoir water´s way from Arrazola

Field mapple (Acer campestre)beginnig the color change

 Mozolo txiki mountain, from the top of Ibiaga

 Arrazola( Irati) 10 october 2012

As you have appreciated in the images, the forest is  preparing for the winter, but not in a hurry. It is possible that this week has been great changes due to possible rain and falling temperatures.

  Walking through the woods in the raining, can be a beautiful experience, as long as we stay dry. If you coming, do not forget the umbrella and good shoes!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The colours of the forest in october first days

There are many people who are waiting that the forest get those beautiful fall colors for a visit to Irati or other deciduous forests, but due to the recent rains and the absence of fine cold winds or heavy rains, the landscape of Irati has not changed  very much. Only some branches in the forest have decided ahead of the rest.

Path of the pollard trees.Arrazola(Irati)

In the photo above we see the start panel a bush with red berries. It´s a  hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) with edible fruits  among the leaves.

Fruits of hawthorn and a baby thrush

The netx photo comes  from 20 October 2011. You  can see the fall was more advanced, but there was not  a big difference.
If there is a sudden drop in temperatures during a week, then the color will come in shortly.Otherwise, probablywe will have to wait several more weeks, and meanwhile, enjoy the spectacle of the rut deer (Cervus elaphus) that these days we can hear them at night or evening mainly, even from the villages.



Thursday, September 27, 2012

A hot nest

Before the cleaning

A few days ago, clearing the  access to the swamp of Irabia of little landslides (marls), they appeared by chance a lot of small  and fragile shell eggs.

During the cleaning

I counted 20 eggs in total, between hatched (the majority) and those who followed integers.They had very soft shell.

.When broken one (it was inevitable, using shovel and hoe but carefully) certainly could see what they were.

 Definitely they were common wall lizards (Podarcis muralis) rockers, whose eggs were still warm in the loam, south side,  ease to heating.In the picture above we can see still the breeding with part of the yolk that served as food.

Once out of the shell, and letting the sun was getting some vitality.
Lizards are great insect eaters, and unfortunately fun for many school boys and girls in the yards of their schools or walls of  the villages .

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Commmon Buzzar (Buteo buteo)dead in a fence

In this photo we can see the remains of a Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) that apparently got caught in a fence-ups, made ​​for the purpose of separating the pasture area of the forest, in order to promote better forest regeneration and have controlled livestock (sheep, cattle and horses).

Remains of common buzard (Buteo buteo)

The coin next to the skull gives us an idea of ​​the scale.
This raptor is abundant in all northern valleys, and is often seen in flight or inn above telephone poles or trees like  in this photo,looking for  mices and other small prey.

Common buzard(Buteo buteo) in Irati

Silhouette in flight. To identify: white collar under the neck.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Autumn following

This is the first picture from which we will follow up the color of the wood, depending on the leaf that fall away.
Why lose their leaves?
Deciduous forests lose their leaves as protection against the cold. In Irati  we have beech, oak, chestnut, rowan, elm, willow, hawthorn, hazel, maple, spindles and dogwoods, among others. Each with a different color in autumn, and a different rate of leaf fall.
We can not know exactly when the forest is more beautiful, because it depends on the wheather; cold, rain, and wind.

In the picture we can see the landscape around the point of information. To the left of the watermark there is a small shrub that has already begun to take some yellow color.There is a hazel, which because of its broad leaves, loses too much water. As we have had a prolonged drought, the leaves are needed of water.In any case, this is one of the first species that loose the leaves in autumn.

Arrazola 29 agosto 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Losing chick in the forest

This punk chick seemed to have fallen from its nest in a Silver fir (Abies alba) in the way of plaza Beunza ( Irabia´s reservoir). There was unharmed and was able to move quickly. Probably could plan to cushion his fall.

In my opinion could be a baby thrush,  by the incipient spotted breast and wing colors. What do you think?

 I leaved it in a  highest place in the hope that the mother would hear, and  rub off my scent so that she will not reject it. In any case, was all that  could be done. If not working, in a short time would be food for one of the many forest carnivores.

Irabia´s  reservoir  (Aezkoa/Salazar valleys)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Salamanders in Irati forest

Salamanders are a colorful amphibians that in Irati like the freshness of the beech, where they live under rocks, leaves, or wherever they may have moisture.

In the spring often  they go to the wells and streams to lay eggs. The youngs, at first glance,are very much like a newt, but are more minnows. In this picture we can see the gills, like feathers coming out from behind his head that  allow them to breathe in the water. Later they will disappear, as they develop their lungs.

Larva of Salamandra

These are adult salamanders, caught under a log that I wanted away. The further west we go in the Iberian Peninsula, more black and less yellow are. The colors indicate poison, and in contact with the mucous of the mouth of an animal, it inmediately spit it. If someone you touches them, wash your hands before touch yours mouth or eyes.

Salamanders(Salamandra salamandra)