Monday, February 27, 2012

Stinking hellebore

Our second flower of this year show belongs to this small plant poisonous  and unpleasant smell (notice how attracts insects for make the pollination) and flowers quite discreet.
Like all plants, could be medicinal depending  the dose, but in this case is not recommended like home remedy via internal to be very toxic.

in case of poisoning could take an infusion of mallow (Malva sylvestris) and marshmallow (Althaea officinalis).

stinking hellebore(Helleborus foetidus)

stinking hellebore´s flower

Green hellebore (Helleborus viridis)

It has another close relative, the green hellebore (Helleborus viridis) over the fetid Atlantic climate is more Mediterranean. In Irati we can find both but predominantly viridis, because the Aezkoa valley is a place of climatology transicion between atlantic and mediterranean areas.area Now sprouts in places where the snow melts.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The hard winter

February is usually a very cold month in Irati, and the snow covering the entire forest, and this brings difficulties for non-hibernating animals who need find  food.
The snow always makes easier the observation, because the contrast with the snow is higher, and  they can be seen at certain points when they go to feed.

Jay( Garrulus glandarius)

Here's a Jay (Garrulus glandarius) in an area for livestock barns, looking for food in the snow .The jay is a bird related to the crows, quite common in all these valleys, often very visible from the road, shy and very noisy. Always associated with forests of a certain size, is one of the best settlers of oak, to contribute very effectively to dispersion of its acorns, which they eat some of them.

In this photo we  can see a female Blackbird (the local name is Tordo or zozoa, in basque), taking shelter from the snow under a female holly (Ilex aquifolium). As is evergreen, offers a warm coat, and the little berries for eating , very poisonous to humans.
Females differ from males because they  feathers are browner and  the beak  is less  yellow-orange than males, too much black.


common blackbird (Turdus merula)

 Tit (Parus caeruleus)

In this one, we have a Tit (Parus caeruleus), thoroughly inspecting all holly leaves, looking for remains of cochineal, a parasite of the leaves he had during the spring and summer.

Finally, we have this fox (Vulpes vulpesphotographed from the road to Orbaizeta , and was eating grass in a meadow, as dogs sometimes do, and possibly seeing if I was lucky enough to feed something more substantial.

Red Fox(Vulpes vulpes)