Ticked Off Along the River

With almost a week of mostly sunny, clear weather in the bag, we thought we’d try a walk up the Jalón river, that is to say, towards Alcalalí. I suspect that the river flows a little too quickly for for the most part for there to be much, if any, dragonfly activity [especially when local German ladies are trying to drive cars across a ford during heavy rain] but there’s an area that widens where the flow slows; that might be worth a look. There’re some fields beside the river, too, which might be worth a look and el perrito could get some exercise.

We strapped el perrito to the back seat of the car and set off. Spain has a few interesting laws one of which is that dogs in cars must be restrained, so they (should) get clipped in to a seat belt anchor point. Neither are you supposed to travel with bags of shopping on the rear seat. I imagine that both these laws are designed to stop loose items flying either into the back of the driver’s head or through the windscreen in the event of an accident.

As el perrito’s excitement level increased, we parked at our start point. It’s only a mile or so from home but we needed yet another 5 litres of rosado to see us through the weekend, hence the car. Scamp fair dragged us off and into the walk.

J01_2433 Small CopperJ01_2436 Brown ArgusThere were birds – Martins, Swallows and Swifts – zooming about over the river so there must have been insects of some description but almost nothing that was of interest to us. To be precise, I did see one Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) and one Brown Argus (Aricia agestis), neither of which cooperated very well, but I snapped them for the record.

We tried a lane through fields further from the river and spotted two Hoopoes making off into the distance but other than that, nothing. It’s weird; there were areas of land lying fallow with wild flowers, scabius and the like, which I’d normally expect to be a haven for butterflies, but nothing. I’m wondering if spraying the orange groves and vineyards in the valley might cause the scarcity of critters. There do seem to be bees, though. Confused.

Back at home with our rosado, Francine spotted a couple of small dark specks on el perrito. Exercise wasn’t all he got; Francine removed two ticks, fortunately before they have fixed themselves to their prospective new host.

There was some wildlife, then.

Posted in 2013 Spain

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