Under The Mediterranean Sea. July 2021

Late July new fish started appearing just off the city beaches!

Baby seabass or mullets near the shoreline

The visibility was still cloudy and I was still figuring out camera settings, hence some photos are grainy. I think the saddled sea breams were getting used to me, often coming up to swim with me. I noticed that when the pompanos arrived, a lot of the baby fish used to swim close by so as not to be eaten by them. I think too it was around this time I started noticing clingfish but as I’m not good at diving down any photos aren’t worth posting.

A cloud of I think white sea breams
Saddled sea bream
Baby striped sea bream (I think!)
Baby seabass I think near the shoreline

I think these are mullets. So elusive and fast swimmers! While sea breams swim in clouds, these guys swim in lanes.

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Weekend Friday Favourites

Welcome back to another Weekend Friday Favourites! I think sunny spring will be here a few days. The grey skies are making way light grey white blue skies! 

Anyways, Weekend Friday Favourites, things that have made me smile or caught my eye this week. In no particular order;

MOCO Museum

Banksy 10 Monkeys

I’m not really museum person. I appreciate them however my attention span isn’t too great if wandering around indoors unless I’m visually engaged. I can manage an hour before I’m missing the sun and the fresh air! That said, I stumbled, literally stumbled upon a few months ago on the MOCO Museum. A contemporary art museum recently opened in El Born . Every now and then it’s nice to cycle or wander around the Born. To be honest it was the bright pink gift shop, pink balloons outside and Minnie Mouse that isn’t sculpture by Kaws in the courtyard that enticed me in. It looked busy so I said another day. Getting my days mixed up this week, not sure what to do and realising once the zoo hours change next week and the tourist season starting it was my last chance to visit while it wasn’t busy. 

Guillermo Lorca, Little Garden. I have no idea what’s going, yet the detail!

Twinning with the main museum in Amsterdam, Moco Museum Barcelona takes you on a journey through modern, contemporary and up and coming artists. Downstairs showcases 80’s artists such as Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, up and coming arts before heading upstairs to Banksy and Guillermo Lorca. I wouldn’t say museum is the right word to describe it, more art gallery however taking in the account the flow of the space as it finishes with NFT’s and light installations perhaps museumish.    

Banksy Home Sweet Home. I’ve no idea why I laugh out aloud when I saw it

The entrance fee is steep at €17.50 outside of off peak hours however around 17.45 the entrance fee drops to €14.50 as they close at 19.00 (I think the entrance fee is so much to cover the insurance on all the pieces). One hour is plenty to see all and I left feeling inspired. While I didn’t understand the concept of Guillermo Lorca’s paintings, his artwork is amazing. Banksy’s cheekiness had me laughing out aloud and Kaws use of colour was amazing! The building where the museum is housed, the courtyard is out of fairytales with a rich history behind it. That’s the charm about EL Born past its dark, stinky alleyways, so many doors open up to amazing courtyards and architecture. 

Diamond Matric . Studio Irma. Hundreds of led diamonds changing colours in a mirrored room where everywhere you looked diamond travelling for infinity. With the music it was kinda peaceful.

More photos saved on my Instagram Story highlights under Out and About 2.

Here Begins the Sea Drain Signs

This week I’ve noticed Here Begins the Sea, don’t throw throw waste/residue down popping up in the city centre, like I noticed in California and Hawaii. Maybe someone in the Barcelona council was inspired by a USA trip!

Ukrainian Military Dog reunited with Human

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Winter City Birds

Happy Spring! 

Jackdaws

Catalunya’s finally easing up some covid-19 restrictions! We can now travel freely throughout all of Catalunya however only visiting other regions in Spain for work or exceptional conditions. Malls have reopened, chiringuitos beach bars, life guards are back for the summer season. Fingers crossed they don’t roll them back in a few weeks. Each Spanish region has been given powers to control the pandemic bar total home confinement, with the central government setting a curfew that’s been in place since October last year. It’s due to end the end of May but with numbers rising again, it’ll probably be in place until the end of the summer. 

Starling

Birds being as free as they are, are the lucky ones. They can come and go as they please. Only worrying about food and predators. Sometimes I wonder if people are mean to birds, killing them as they can come and go as they please as humans they can’t. They’re free to fly away from danger, they’re not subject to complex human cultures. Well the lucky ones are. Many kept for food, for sport in conditions no one would want to live in, seen as nothing more than money or a commodity (says she who would like another cat and in doing so to rescue one animal, many more will have to be killed to feed it) or persecuted for only trying to feed themselves by eating crops and plants. 

Birds, fill the skies with song, colour, pollinate plants, spread seeds, are landscapers, the clean up crews, kept wetlands in check, help play vital roles in natures delicate balance as all over their habits are shrinking due to deforestation and climate change. Did you know that veeries can predict if the Atlantic hurricane season is going to be bad just from the time they leave to migrate to Brazil (something I learnt from Netflix’s Connected)? A tiny bird can sense the weather months in advance. That’s some crazy mind blowing, amazing predictions that could be lost to climate change.

Anyway, some wild zoo birds this winter back in January and February. There’s no way I’d see them in the parks. I think they know they’re safe at the zoo (well not the pigeons the seagulls hunt). 

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Winter City Parakeets

No one knows the origin of Barcelona’s parakeet population. Some say they were stowaways on boats arriving in Barcelona Port in the 1970’s, others say they’re descended from Barcelona Zoo or house pet escapees, or house pets released when the owners couldn’t deal with them anymore pre 2013 when it was legal to trade Monk and Collared parakeets, just 2 of the 4 types of ‘Spanish’ parakeets.

Some like me love watching a streak of green as they fly by, listening into their cheeky chatter, watching how they use roads as their own flight paths. Other people regard them as pests that have now travelled further outside the city ruining crops. Some say their nests are dangerous due to how much they weigh if they fell on someone. Barcelona isn’t the only city in Spain with parakeets. Madrid and Valencia are just a few Spanish cites with their own populations. 

To be honest, they’re pretty kinda cool birds, happy to share with the pigeons, sparrow, starlings and blackbirds for snacks. The other day I think Parc de la Ciutadella had been closed for most of the day. Only one entrance gate open with a temporally closed sign everybody was ignoring. I had bread for the ducks, my new thing with the covid restrictions so I get my bike ride to a green place which I’m aiming to still do now restrictions are slowing being eased. I wasn’t going to go seeing all the people, but thought the ducks and geese would be extra hungry without their usual snack feeders, which I‘m not one as you can tell the ones that are. A few parakeets lined the pond railing waiting for bread pieces so nobody got fed much that day. Even the seagulls were out hungry. Knowing they wouldn’t stand a chance with pigeons that also wanted in, I placed a few pieces on the railing. Some almost took a piece out my hand, others a little more shy waiting until I wasn’t looking. While I like feeding the ducks and geese, parakeets accepting my bread made me feel extra special! Now the zoo’s back open I’ve been seeing them more relaxed than in the park. Less people around, more trees to nest in. Seeing them too as I cycle flying along streets and ramblas with twigs twice as long as them up into the trees for their nests. That flash of green and cheeky squark lights up my day 🙂

Snacks!

City Wildlife #1

It’s no surprise on Instagram most accounts I follow are nature based. Lots of animals, rescue centres, shelters and organisations, landscapes, the seas and oceans. I get a little envious of golden misty foggy wood scenes as I grew up in the countryside. However I equally get envious, maybe more of beautiful seas and oceans waves and shorelines. 

Get that itch! Heron

This year when out, more so at the zoo I tried to take less non zoo resident photos otherwise my photos are almost the same repeat each week. I look for the light, parrots, ducks at the park, birds flying, trees, nature cityscapes while trying to avoid taking photos of humans. Sometimes I don’t mind humans in them. If I can I like the focus on nature. She’s the star of this planet. Anyways, wildlife from July at the Barcelona Zoo, at the park: Parc de la Ciutadella , in the city.

Wrong camera speed. Wherever Mama duck went, they went. It was so cute when they started diving with their bums sticking up out the water
I think a crane nesting above an enclosure
I watched him/her land on the leaf and as soon as I said thank you silently for letting me take their photo, it flew away
Ducks at dusk
Zoo cat
Zoo cat

This summer I saw so many butterflies! Colourful ones at the zoo. White ones while running along with dragonflies. A few moths too and hardly any mosquitos!!! I think mosquitos only bite me when they’re desperate however this year the apartment was almost free of them. That doesn’t mean I didn’t escape not being bit by bugs this summer. It’s almost as if the mosquitoes knew and let the other bug have its go. On holiday I got bite by a tick which got infected, ending up in ER as it wasn’t clearing up. The night before going in the skin around it started to swell up. The doctors were closed and I didn’t want to chance it over the weekend. A course of antibiotics cleared it up and I’ll be left once the redness has gone down another white patch of non pigmented skin to join the other assorted bites and cuts white patches.

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