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PICOS DE EUROPE      5th -12th June 2010

HOME Pyranees 2016 Andalucia 2017

Click to enlarge photo; "back" to return.              A much fuller account and Latin names of plants are on Helen's website:  Fands

SATURDAY 5th June.  We met the rest of our group waiting for us at Asturias Airport together with our guide and mentor, Teresa Farino. She drove us to a coffee and plant-search stop at Alto de las Estazadas, where the famous view was clouded over but there were flowers to see, then on to watch a game of the very complicated Spanish skittles at Panes and finally to our base at Pesaguera.

Bar at Alto de las Estazadas

Bridge beside the road near Canales

Spanish Skittles (Bolla?) at Panes

Setting the aiming line?

Rio Casanu

Crusty Saxifrage

Posada El Hoya, our Hotel

Duke of Burgundy

Serapias cordigera.                  Serapia, heart flowered orchid

        Ophrys apifera,   Bee Orchid


Geranium sylvaticum

Brimstone Moth


View from our bedroom

Slender Scotch Burnet Moth

Pesaguera Town Office

Wild Garlic

SUNDAY 6th June.   Before breakfast every morning we examined Teresa's moth trap which  worked well. After breakfast It was wet and foggy and so we headed south to Puerto de Piedrasluegas beyond the mountains where it was sunny. We saw Storks, various Marsh Flowers, Frogs and drowned trees. Lunch was in a limestone quarry surrounded by a totally different flora. Later on we went to a marsh and then visited an old church under restoration on the way home..


Elephant Hawk Moth

Iberian water frog

River meadows

Shield Bug

Altar Box

9th Century Church being restored

Midwife Toad

Clouded Yellow butterfly

A nest of caterpillars

Iberian Wall Lizard

Beefly on Arenaria Montana

Young Storks

Mum stork

Sooty Copper

Stream edge Early Purple Orchids


Natural Limestone rock Garden

Wild Spanish Daffodil


MONDAY  7th June.  We had a short visit to Potes market and old town and then on up the Cable Car, El Cable, at Fuente De. We saw Alpine Plants, Choughs, Raven, Isard, Newts etc. Our lunch time was surrounded by begging choughs. Some people eventually saw the wallcreeper! I couldn't quite get the whistle right!  It was hot and sunny on the mountain all day.

Discussion Group

The Passenger

Shopping Arcade

Holding Court

River Deva, Potes

Scotch Argus

Potes Museum

Potes Old Town

Washing Line

Potes Old Town

Fancy Street Lights.

Note the bread delivery.

What's he snapping?

Field Cricket

Butter maker?

Shopping Street, Potes

Building work

Market Negotiations

Longhorn beetle on Wild rose

Helen, Ketil and Irene waiting for the cable car.

Looking up the cable car.

Alpine Newt

Puertos de Aliva Mountains

Alpine Chough begging

Red Kneed Beetle

Choughs Playing in the air currents

Hide Beetles on dead toad

Spanish Gorse

Mountain Lakes



Petrocoptis pyrenaica ssp. glaucifolia

Richard, Annette and Teresa

Top of the cable car


Isard Southern Chamois

 Isard in snow

Cream-Spot Tiger Moth

Spring Gentian, Gentiana verna ssp verna

Irene in Alpine Meadow

Getiana angusifolia ssp. corbariensis

Lithodora diffusa

Spring Squill Scilla verna

Ranunculus amplexicaulis


Silene acaulis

Alpine Toadflax Arenaria Alpina

Narcissus Asturiensis

Owl Fly Libelloides coccajus

Oedemera Nobilis

TUESDAY 8th June.  It was another damp day, we walked up to the ridge above Beges and saw Black Pasque Flowers, Yellow Birdsnest (Ghost Flower) etc before the clouds descended on our lunch spot. Coffee in small local town and then a walk along the old road above the Desfiladero de la Hermida gorge.

Teresa's Kitchen first thing

Lesser Puss Moth's Face


Black Pasque Flower

Wall Lizard



The Group botanising

Butterfly Orchid

Road above Beges

Man Orchid

Spurge and Nigritella gabasiana

Barn in the mist

Burnt Orchid

Great Green Bush Cricket


Across valley from Beges

Soldier Beetle

Window boxes in Beges

WEDNESDAY 9th June.   A damp day followed by reasonable weather later on. We visited a high meadow by Puerto San Glorio, then on to have lunch beside a drinking trough full of toadpoles and I spotted a crab spider. We then drove up to the village of Tudes and a walked down to the valley and thankfully Teresa took a taxi to go and collect the minibus for the ride home.

High meadow of Asphodels and Orchids

Pub sign, typical Englishman.


Mylabris Polymorpha


Large Blue


Corn as winter feed


Large Blue

Marbled Newt under water

Helen photographs flowers, not barn

Iberian Lizard Podarcis hispanica

Violet Carpenter Bee

Teresa looking deeply for newts


Beetles mating

Fire Bug

End of the walk

THURSDAY 10th June. Very cold and wet, we visited an old church and then a warm up for coffee in Aguila de Campoo and a short visit to the area around the Fishermans Refuge. Then a Picnic lunch in the ex monastery turned hotel nearby with its ultra modern decor.

Spanish Fly!

Wet landscape

Adam and Eve on church capital Santa Eulalia in Barrio de Santa Maria

Stork Colony

Monastery Church Door

Lavender on rock near Rio Pisuerga, Mave

The Santa Maria de Mave monastery now a Hotel


Smokey Bar in Aguilar de Campoo

Spectator in the bar


Some serious eating at the Monastery!

FRIDAY  11th June. A very wet morning and so we visited the National Park visitors centre followed, afterwards, by a walk in the wet up the Urdon Gorge, past the power station across a bridge with its deck flooded, passed by a really sodden school party. Lunch was in the dry of a closed cafe in nearby town..  We took an afternoon walk up to the high meadows and woods above Espinama and then on to a quick final look in the woods beyond the Mirador Cable station.

Desmond (Photo in the Exhibition)

Farm Implements

Privet Hawk Moth

Rio Urdon

Helen tightrope walking above the flooded bridge.

Urdon Gorge

Hawkweed on Rock face

Pyramid Orchid

Which spider is the predator?

Pinguicular grandiflora

Cream Spot Tiger Moth



Fritillary on Spanish Spurge

High woodland



Spanish Tiger Moth  Hyphoraia dejeani

Wet Stonechat

Crab Spider


Teresa's Dog

Through a wet windscreen!

White Orchid

SATURDAY 12th June.  An early breakfast, 0700hrs and  then the long drive to Asturias Airport with a brief look at the beach flora nearby in heavy rain and wind.

The enemy!

Speckled Yellow Moth

Sea Bindweed

Sea Holly