Tuesday, November 12, 2013

finally..the autum ( 12 november 2013)

Beeches,Larches and red firs
Finally, the fall has been postponed more than in previous years, and still will remain about two weeks before most of the trees lose their leaves, but with the forecastof of low temperatures, leaf drop can accelerate.

Little stream, now with water

As for several days is raining, all aquifers are overflowing, and water  springs up everywhere.

 Suspension Bridge over the River Irati In Aribe(Aezkoa Valley)
We can appreciate the flow that carries the Irati river waters on their way down the ancient spa, where can see a dam that was built for the barranqueo, or transporting timber across the river, a practice which the Indians, (people from the valley who emigrated to America and back) brought to displace the rafts, that it was the most ancient of wood out of the forest.

 Irati  river after Aribe village(Aezkoa valley)

Small moth that will no longer fly.

Moss with sporophytes, where will leave the spores.

Much moisture comes in handy to mosses, lichens and fungi, although fungies are a little bit it soggy and rotten,as also the worms that eat them thrive in these conditions.

Pubescent oak (Quercus humilis) of several hundred years in the old path to the Spa

Irati River bank near one of Hemingway's fishing sites

Lower Maple (Acer campestre)
araneus sp.

If you love photography of autumn, these are good days for this, and although light rain that is falling these days difficult the work, it also gives a special touch that a sunny day can not give.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The fall in Irati forest

Arrazola (Irati) Valle de Aezkoa 11-10-2013

It seemed a month ago that the fall would be advanced, as in many places due to the lack of water the leaves of many trees were changing color.
Now, however, the forest is so green that it seems that we fall, if not for the high areas catching color before the low, and the abundance of fruits, both hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) and the of themselves have, among others.
Possibly, but will have to go see him week after week, the increased intensity and amount will be achieved towards the last week of October / first of November. 

Beechnuts (edibles)
This year is a for the beeches a "vecero" year, that is, one year bear much fruit, others much less. The" vecería" is more pronounced  as  the species more wild  are.
Here we are the fruit of the seed open and ready to fall. Squirrels, dormices, wild boards and many kinds of birds will eat  them. Common finches are of those birds that we see frequently eating beechnuts on the road where they have fallen seeds, which were then crushed by cars, providing work.
They are edible for humans, once easily peel and remove the hairs that can give us a little itchy in the throat.
In the pastthey was used for human  meal making flour with them, and later for the pigs.

Common finch( Fringilla coelebs)

Arrazola(Aezkoa valley,Navarre) october 20, 2013
There has been some change in recent days and the forest is picking color, although there is still at least a week to take all those shades of color that characterize the beech forest.
Arrazola Information Point ( Aezkoa Valley )
The temperature has undergone rapid changes , and we've had days of small icy morning. However, what is prevailing  is the warm south wind , and so today at 9 in the morning we were at 15 degrees celsius .
In principle , the prognosis for the fall holds for the last week of October, first of November.

Hypholomas in the water reservoir area of  Irabia. They are toxic

We have hit boletus, but yes a big variety of species, so a visit to the forest at this time we can offer good opportunities for photography.

The birth of an amanita.
Cortinarius sp.
Pale tussock(Calliteara pudibunda)

This beautiful caterpillar, abundant at this time in the beech forests around the north of Navarre, will become a beautiful moth or heterocero, (Limantriidae family) will fly for the months of April to June. Its caterpillar feeds on the leaves of the beeches, oaks, willows and hawthorns, among others.Despite its fierce appearance, is harmless.

5 november 2103

Arrazola car parks (2). At this time, the 3 car parks of Irabia reservoir water were full 

Already passed the long weekend of all saints (Halloween) where more than 2300 people passed through the entrance to Irati forest of Arrazola (Aezkoa valley) seeking  the colors of the autum. However, this year the fall is a bit late, and probably in this weekend will be when maximum color that can reach before the wind and rain (yesterday was raining all the day, and today remains the same) pull the leaves.

Irati, from the window of my house at 9:21

In the bordering southern valleys , however, it is possible to lengthen a little more, because having lower altitude the cold and wind they affected less , and because around here  oaks holds longer the leaf than beeches  (also emerge later.)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The story of a young Doe in Irati forest (1st and 2nd part)

This afternoon a tourist has warned of the presence of a wounded young doe(Cervus elaphus) next to a fallen tree.
We went to see my colleague and I , in order to assess the situation.

It seemed that she could have some leg injured and therefore was not able to go running , or could be trapped somehow through the trunk with some leg twisted.
If we drew and had the injury, then there would be no way to catch her, so we decided to go to call a telephon number we have for the case of damaged or injured wildlife (In Irati is not phone coverage )

They said me  what I imagined , it is a hunting specie, and in weekends if is necessary they move for protected species, and if still she is there tomorrow they will decided what can to do.I have told him that we would try it out , and he said that we can tried.
So ,at the end of the day , we went to see what we could do .

We've thrown over one of our jackets to relax her a little bit while we moved and examin .
We have not found any fracture , open or closed. Not even inflammation or injury of any kind.She  left without resistance that we touch her, so I guess that would be too weak to try something.
We do not know how long it takes there. May be for a days, without eating or drinking .
Tomorrow I'll take a bowl of water ,and partially buriedto avoid pour out ,and  see if she have the strength to drink, and we will try  to call again to the wardens.

(To be continued )

13 october 2013

We turned to early afternoon, when the workload has decreased and serum have led some to try to drink something, but it was impossible, because his mouth tightly closed.
We called the number yesterday but have told us the same thing yesterday, and you have to let nature work.

We can not do more. Actually these things happen every day but do not see them, and are part of the natural cycle, although more than we can repeat it hard to leave aside our empathy and not feel shame before his way of looking and the certainty of  death alone

October 14, 2014

Today is finally dead. Long time no drinking and without forces do not give rise to hope.
The cycle of the forest continues, and many other animals can feed her and feed her youngs, lest they die.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A spider with a great history.

 Wasp spider(Argiope bruennichi)

This is the wasp spider  (Argiope bruennichi.) Is very common among the gorse (ulex europaea), a very green prickly plants with yellow flowers, and can be seen at this time also in Irati(Navarre). There is a very good link about this spider, which is colonizing the world (Spanish) : http://www.muyinteresante.com.mx/naturaleza/575970/arana-avispa-expande-territorios-europa/
When it capture an insect and sting, she introduce an paralyzing substance and an enzyme that digests proteins. Then the spider has only to suck the contents. It's like eating an entire steak with straw.
Although it looks bad, it seems for us it is harmless. Quite a luck!
Due to various crosses between populations adapted to different climates, new spiders have managed to adapt to all climates, cold, temperate and tropical.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A sea of clouds

 Foggy downing Mount Ezkanda (Irati-Aezkoa)
Eastern Irati,  from Mount Mendilatz (Aezkoa Valley, Navarre)
There are no goats in Irati.  This is Belagoa valley , from the stone of St. Martin.(French border)
In summer is quite common to look the fog falling down when north wind (cold air) is blowing , and therefore heavier, spreads down the slopes to the south after the northern valleys of the Pyrenees have been filled fog.

Fog is not alwais dangerous. Can be beautifull-

The advance of fog to the south  isdepending of  the heat  that its find this on the southern slope,with hot air going up that tends to slow it when it is falling down.
In these photos, in the end of the day, hot air loses strength and when it cooled, begins to accumulate in the bottom of the valleys, as I have told, by the weight of the cold air.This is called termical inversion because in  normal circumstances, at higher altitudes, colder.
In the next day, when the sun rises and warms the air, the fog will tend to rise and disappear.
There is a great saying I heard that my great-grandmother, who says: "Fog in the morning , afternoon for walking"

Valle de Belagoa, valley with Larra on the left side.

Fog can be very dangerous if you do not know the terrain, and even if we know it. I know stories of shepherds who have spent the night in the open pasture lost by those who walk every day.
It is highly recommended to always carry a map of the area and a compass. If you carry GPS also much better, but do not confide everything to technology, because if this fails, you will see a serious problem.
If you like the exciting world of meteorology, I highly recommend this book. Besides good information, it's funny and readable:


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Baskian viper (Vipera seoanei) in Irati forest

Baskian Viper(Vipera seoanei)

We  found it in the access road to the Irati forest  from Aezkoa valley(Navarre), between the hut of the toilets and the information point. It seemed dozing on the road to get more heat, but as we approached to take photos, and finally try away with a stick, we realized she was dead.It was not very visible injury near the tail, and the death was recent because recently we had been there.
In Irati we have two kinds of snakes, theEuropean Asp (Vipera aspis), of most Mediterranean distribution, with which Cleopatra committed suicide, and this other, Baskian viper(Vipera seoanei), from the north of the Iberian Peninsula, without snout like the European Asp, but with vertical pupils of all snakes. It is considered endemic to the Iberian Peninsula, ie not living in other parts of the world.
We had been for a day in the point of information and we had been  showing  to the people who had some interest in wildlife, after asking if they wanted to see, as there are many people with a phobia of snakes. Finally we had to throw.

It measured 65 cm. long. Really big for the species.

If you are interested in a good link about the world of snakes of the Iberian Peninsule, here you are a good link(also in english):

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Aesculapian snake(Zamenis longissimus)

Aesculapian snake(Zamenis longissimus)
In another article I have mentioned that the snakes, which are cold-blooded, like the heat of the rocks and especially the road, and often go there to get some energy. The road for being black still warmer than the rest of local rocks, with lighter colors.
This time this poor  Aesculapian snake  (Zamenis longissimus) was hit yesterday while  was sunbathing on Orotz Betelu(Navarre), a village near the Irati forest.

It was about 85 inches long, (Adults can reach 2 meters) and a wheel of a motorcycle, looking by the small size of the wound, was caught in the middle.
Usually eat mice, eggs, birds and reptiles, the same way as the famous Anaconda or Boa constrictor; drowning with his body.
A good page to know more about this type of snake (not poisonous) is this web of biodiversity of the Government of Navarra. not very full, but very clear

Belly of the  Aesculapian snake with crush injury

Note that in Navarre, only vipers snakes (much smaller)  can inoculate  venom  and they only will bite us in case of being cornered.
I have a friend who was bitten by a snake some years ago years in the forest, in another  nearby area of ​​Navarre when he went to sit down and he didn´t saw where he put his hand on the ground. He went to hospital and there,they gave him the antidote. In about three weeks I was recovered .If he had not laid the hand on the viper never had bitten, and he didn´t realized of his presence
An older woman in Bera (North Navarre) told me on another occasion that a reaper had been bitten at this time, when they was cutting the grass of the meadows  with the scythe.
. Be always careful where you put your hand or where you step, but not afraid. Only respect.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Carnivorous plants in the forest of Irati.The peatlands

Pinguícula/waterworts(Pinguícula grandiflora)
In the forest of Irati Aezkoa Valley, we have two kinds of carnivorous plants. The you see in the picture is the Pinguicula or waterworts (Pinguicula grandiflora) which is now in flower. The black dots on the green leaves are small insects that got stuck in the leaves due to a secretion of mucilage (a sticky substance also found in the fruits of mistletoe formerly used as glue underpowered).

When the unfortunate creature is stuck, begins to secrete a kind of enzymes that act as digestive system in the outside.
It's their way of   to get mainly nitrogen, in areas where the soil is very poor in it.
I always see in areas of runoff water or light build. Zones and PH very acid washed, such as bogs or bogs in formation areas, of which we have some in the Irati  of Aezkoa valley(Navarre)

Common sundew(Drosera Rotundifolia)

The other plant we have is more special, and spend more unnoticed. With less than 5 centimeters, is a little bit  like carnivorous plant that we have in mind, and which sold in stores a tropical species, bigger than ours.
It is the common sundew(Drosera rotundifolia). In Mediterranean areas as Izki Natural Park (Araba, Baasque country) can be found Great sundew(Drosera/anglica longuifolia) species, which as its latin name suggests, has longer leaves.

In the high-Azpegi, in the westernmost part of Irati have peaty ecosystems (peat forming) one of which recently closed with wooden fencing to prevent livestock can step flora before  flowering. The idea is that once this has happend, we can open three wickets for the free entrance of the cattle.

It so happens that cattle trampling those plants, is at the same time preventing the growth of others, such as Gorse (Ulex europaea) that could be cause problems in this ecosystem, but also is  the responsible to create small wells with their hooves in the mud, where they later leave the most interesting plants

Etzangio Board (Azpegi summit/ Aezkoa) in front the bog.
This is the panel explaining the pre-bog ecosystem, developed by us(Itarinatura) recently.
A peatland is a zone with constant supply of water where they grow mainly Sphagnum and other mosses, along with other plants associated with that ecosystem. Over time, new mosses grow on top of the dead, that having low oxygen just rot, and over the years we may have a depth of several meters of peat, which is the type of substrate that you can find in garden stores.

Almost all of Ireland or Scotland is full of such areas as well as large areas of the Pyrenees, where the soil remains waterlogged environment. In these countries cut peat in portions to use as fuel, because long time ago that the great forests disappeared, at least as to get firewood. Literally they burn the ground in fireplaces, and what's left later in these sites is the bedrock sterile because the peat is formed in a slow process of thousands of years.

Among other types of wildlife and vegetation can talk about dragonflies, spiders that eat dragonflies, others that they eat other spiders and dragonflies, if they can, ..
Typical of these ecosystems is the Common cotton grass (Eriphorum angustifolium), a type of rush Shaggy has not still taken the flower. Certain types of orchids and daffodils,mayflowers,gentians,..too.
Common cotton grass(Eriophorum angustifolium)

Spider eating a butterfly

At the peat bog are associated many amphibians like Common frog (Rana temporaria), the Salamander (Salamandra salamandra) webbed Triton (Lissotriton helveticus) or the common toad (Bufo bufo), which attract all kinds of predators. Difficult to see them, but not his tracks. In this way we see that badgers, foxes ,bobcats  and European polecat approached those sites to hunt.

Common frogs(Rana temporaria) matting
Salamander(Salamandra salamandra)

Budger tracks(Meles meles)
If you decide to visit this place, as always, be respectful (I know what you will, but you would not be on this page) with everything you see.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Orchids, a world of colors in the Aezkoa valley

The orchids are, and have always been very striking plants (in the form of flowers and their color), not only for insects,  also for humans too.

 Orchis purpurea
 While in Europe, its length is less than in the tropics, have always had great appeal and what has been discovered later about them, probably caused greater fascination.
His name is related to the tubers with roots as a form it represents. Theophrastus was who named them "Orchis" by the resemblance to the testicles of men. The first orchid  known is dated 65 million years ago, then at the time of the dinosaurs existed orchid species.

The research works of Darwin, on the reproductive mechanism of plants, especially in the study of orchids,  discovered  us the relationship between pollinating insects and orchids: as the result of this bestiality, created flowers are attractive products, means of decoy and also viscous and sticky pollen.
Several species began to have rewards such as food (nectar and oils) and decoy (mimic the shape and smell of female bees, wasps or flies). So some species were eventually specializing in one pollinator to ensure a more efficient pollen transfer.
This is why so extremely varied forms of orchid flowers that attract bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, moths and other parts of the world including birds, bats and frogs.

 Orchis scolopax

The Aezkoa Valley(Navarre) provides a variety of orchids, its intricate relief allows  to create numerous microclimates within this transition from Pyrenean to Atlantic climate. We have many forests within the valley but also numerous grassland or "larreak" some at your disposal N and others in a position S. Not all bloom at the same time, so we have made ​​the list based on their flowering.
   In late May and early June several species begin to bloom Cephalantera genus like and some Orchis.

 Cephalantera longifolia

    Orchis provincialis

  Then it's time, and in the middle in July of Platanthera, Dactylorhiza, Orchis,  Hymantoglossum and some Ophrys. 

 Orchis simia
 Dactylorhiza maculata 
 Orchis mascula
 Serapias lingua 
 Platanthera clorantha
 Platanthera bifolia 
 Hymantoglossum hircinium
       In late June, the Anacamptis gives way to forest orchids that in the Irati Forest are of the genus Epipactis.

 Anacamptis pyramidalis
 Epipactis viridiflora 
 Epipactis helleborine

 Orchis purpurea

 While in Europe, its length is less than in the tropics, they always have  had great appeal and what has been discovered later on them, it is probably caused greater fascination.
His name is related to the tubers with roots as a form it represents. Theophrastus was who named them "Orchis" by the resemblance to the testicles of men. The first known orchid is dated 65 million years ago, then at the time of the dinosaurs existed orchid species.