The farmer who dropped by to give unasked-for advice to my friend and his wife clearing their newly bought quarter of an acre of long, abandoned terraces on a steep slope on the island of La Gomera in the Canaries was unequivocal: “Cut it down!”
FIFTY seven Canada geese at Coolmain Strand and 47 Canarian ravens touring the sky above the blunted peak of the long- extinct volcano of La Gomera, in the Canary Islands — Garajonay, the volcano is called, for a pair of doomed lovers, Gara and Jonay, she the Gomera Guanche princess, who fell in love with the peasant boy, Jonay, from the island of Tenerife, 50km across the water, which he swam to reach her.
As landlords’ enclosures of villages and commonages during England’s industrial revolution drove landless countrymen into the maws of the poet William Blake’s “dark Satanic mills”, a romantic nostalgia for the countryside began to grow.
IT’S A beautiful day and we look out on a bay full of ferries coming and going and honking and hooting and waking us up earlier than we usually wake: they are going to Barcelona, to Valencia, to the next door small island of Formentera and to Talamanca, a beach across Ibiza Bay, writes
I’M in Czechia, the new and less cumbersome English name for the Czech Republic, writing this in a caravan in the shade of a Scots pine on my son’s half acre of recreation land in the ‘moldavite belt’ of Lower Bohemia, north of the Sumava National Park and the Austrian border.
My column of February 26 explained that a unique charm of the Valle Gran Rey on the island of La Gomera in the Canaries is the laid-back “vibe” left over from the first hippies that arrived here, Vietnam War draft dodgers in the late 1950s.
La Gomera offers a uniquely different ‘vibe’ from other Canary islands in one important respect. Apart from its unique cloud forests, unspoiled beaches, walking paths and absence of glitzy resorts, a distinctive laid back feeling abides, writes
IN Timoleague, west Cork, where the famous 13th century abbey overlooks the sea, there may be seen, these evenings, one of the most extraordinary displays of coordination and swarm behaviour in nature, a murmuration of starlings, says .
Up to 20,000 Cory’s Shearwaters, oceanic birds with 1.25m wingspans, were breed on the Selvagem Islands, 280 km south of Madeira. Big, meaty birds, the squabs were traditionally harvested and salted for food. Monks on Skellig Michael similarly harvested gannet squabs from Small Skellig, writes Damien Enright