I keep saying March this year was windy and grey yet looking back it was sunny! Sunny and cold! The second half was grey and cold making it a long grey cold month. All month long it was windy making the light on sunny days so clear and so bright.
Spring was saying hello with goslings in Parc de la Ciutadella. It was cuteness overload as I thing 4 geese families had chicks.
Lē’ahi, the summit that resembles the forehead/lae of the ‘ahi fish as named by Hi’iaka the sister of the fire goddess Pele. Another Lē’ahi meaning is ‘fire headland’ from fires lit high on the summit to guide canoes safely back. The Western name, Diamond Head comes Western explorers thinking the calcite crystals found on the slopes were diamonds. Perfect names for a volcano on an island born of volcanic fire.
If I wasn’t feeling already a little uneasy that I was on a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean without any more solid mainland behind me, walking around a now extinct volcanic crater may have added to a little more freak out if I gave it more thought. Lē’ahi/ Diamond Head Monument’s crater is believed to have been created from a single eruption 300,000 years ago. The highest ledge along the south-western side was created as the wind blew the ash at the time of eruption making it look like the now ‘ahi fish forehead. The seaward slopes are protected by a coral reef, which is why coral reefs are so important. Aside from the marine life they shelter they also protect land from coastal storms. Another thing cool thing about the crater is in winter, rainwater collects in mini lake in the centre! Most of the plants and animals along paths were introduced in the 1800’s. There’s one native plant still standing, ‘ilima!
Nothing says spring more than baby chicks, flowers, rain and waves, no?!
These cuties stop foot traffic! Everybody seems to stop and cry out awe when they see the baby goslings in Parc de la Ciutadella!
Sadly one of them the last time I saw them hasn’t made it. Down from 5 to 4. The adults are always checking in on them where they are, swim with one in front and one behind with the chicks in-between. One adult has an injured wing which I thought happened when I saw they were down to 4 chicks. However editing I noticed that already one has feathers missing on its wing. They’re so cute as they follow along copying Mama goose. Without their wings fully grown, little dinosaurs are still here!
Most of these were taken on the same day in mid January 2022. I think I missed the zoo and didn’t want to go back until it got dark. The light was good, the ducks and parakeets were on the snack hunt and it was warm in the sunshine huddled in layers. Christmas lights while not on were still up looking like spider webs. The light was great for for seeing architecture detail too!
Don’t let the sunny light deceive you, it was cold!
While the geese rule the park, everybody as in the water fowl gets out the way for the white ducks. They’re not afraid to go after any duck, seagull or goose that annoys them.
Black headed gulls winter in Barcelona and can be found in Parc de la Ciutadella. As they can take off almost like helicopters they compete for the pan or bread quicker than the ducks. You can see the ducks and geese flinch when they dive around them to get the pan/bread, but will happily if lunge and nip at them if they can. Otherwise they just swim off leaving the humans to feed the seagulls. Black headed gulls are also amazing at catching bread in mid air! I think it’s mostly teenage guys that winter here.
The first have of January was so sunny! That’s what I like about January. Within a week of the winter solstice you can notice the days being longer and the light changing. The promise of spring’s coming from the first week of winter! So much and so little can change within a week.
For New Year I got out the city! A little outing up to the Costa Brava for the night before heading to Monestir de Sant Pere de Casserres, an 11th century Benedictine monastery along the Riu Ter/Ter River. We didn’t go to the monastery, just the look out point, Mirador del Ter. Sadly the lookout point’s filled with rubbish from an abandoned restaurant. The path to the look out point’s a little confusing at first with overgrown pavements. Why an overgrown pavement so far away from the road along a dirt track? It all made sense at the now abandoned restaurant.
Back in the city where magpies, pigeons, ducks, wagtails, sparrows, seagulls. geese and parakeets/parrots rule the skies. Well maybe not the ducks and geese, but they rule the ponds in Parc de la Ciutadella.