Spring flowers and exercise at last!

We’ve been able to get out and excercise over the last couple of weeks after a very strict lockdown here in Spain. I’ve been taking advantage, getting out on the bike with the dogs a lot and preparing a vegetable garden in our field.

Everything is so green at the moment and the spring flowers have burst into life in the fields around Biescas.

I’ve spotted my first orchids of the season – butterfly orchids, sword leaved helleborine’s and lot’s of shoots of vilote limadores – the parasitic orchid that lives in woods.


Butterfly orchid

Sword leaved helleborine

Violet Limadore

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The Ordesa NP

Guide to hiking the spectacular canyons of the Ordesa National Park

We’re very lucky to have such beautiful scenery on our doorstep and there are lovely views while cycling in the Serrablo. There’s no shortage of routes to do. I have to say I’ve stuck to fairly flat routes as my fitness isn’t the best after 7 weeks not leaving the house! The other day I headed up to the ruins of the 11th-century monastery of San Pelay which is a really interesting spot.

As well as getting out on the bike I’ve also been working in our field. We’ve had it for a couple of years and have been renovating the barn, putting a new roof on. This year we’ve decided to put in a vegetable garden so I’ve been hard at work with the pick axe preparing it. It’s a beautiful spot and we spend a lot of time there with the kids at the moment – it hasn’t been cut for hay yet and they love playing in the long grass. The vegetable garden was rotavated yesterday and the first veggies will go in soon.


Isabel and Christopher

While I’ve been digging I found these strange larva. At first I was excited as I thought they might be stag beetle larva. However, although very similar I think they are from the summer chafer – a kind of fly. The larva are a pest and cause a lot of damage to the roots of plants so they got removed a good distance from the veggie patch! The other interesting find was a baby asp viper curled up amongst a pile of rocks I was moving. It was very thin and not long – defintely a juvenile so I didn’t mind getting close to the venmous snake for a photo.



Our friend Amaya caught this fantastic display of mating green whipsnakes. I’ve been lucky enough to see this a couple of times. These harmless but long snakes are completely oblivious to humans while there mating.

Once two slithered right through the middle of a hiking group and another time a young Isabel had two slide right between her legs while she was having a wee in the mountains – that gave her a shock!

My final nature spot over the last week was this beautiful giant peacock moth that was trying to camouflage itself on the pavement outside our house this morning. The biggest moth in Europe, their wingspan can reach 20cm. A nice morning treat!

We hope that all our guests and readers, wherever they are in the world, are all keeping well and are hopefully able to begin to enjoy the great outdoors once again.

1 Comment

  1. Graham Taylor

    Thanks for you posts Phil………always delightful to read…

    Hope there is some respite soon for HP….and you can get back to some form of normality.


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