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blog by: El Paraje
Berchules, Granada, Spain

10 August 2011

Satyrus actea or Black Satyr

A butterfly that has caught our attention on recent walks is the Black Satyr. According to the online magazine Waste Ideal, there have been cited two subspecies of this ´Negra´ in Sierra Nevada, namely Satyrus actaea subsp nevadensis and the Satyrus actaea subs podarcina. It does not mention in what ways these two subspecies differ, except that the first one flies at higher altitudes. As we mentioned in our article on the ´High route to Trevélez in High summer´ we saw the Satyrus actaea flying in large numbers on the slopes of the Peña de los Papos, only every now and then resting on a stone. On our new route ´Trevélez por el Horcajo´ we saw them close to streams, acequias and barrancos feeding on ragworts, mint and thistles. Like the Parnassius Apollo nevadensis, Pseudochazara hippolyte and the Erebia hispana, this is a butterfly that is being monitored by the Observatorio Cambio Global de Sierra Nevada. Of these four species, it is this Black Satyr that we sight in largest numbers.

Related key words: papilio actaea, actaeon, hipparchia actaea, petite coronide, kleine saterzandoog, vlinder, butterfly, schmetterling, papillon, nymphalidae, satyrinae, satíridos, satyridae, satyrinae, natuurreis, vlinderreis, nature holiday, turismo de naturaleza

8 August 2011

XXI Festival Flamenco de Fondón 17 agosto 2011

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Related key words: gitaar, guitar, flamenco, alpujarras, valderrama, tomatito, sonidos blancos

De Bérchules a Trevélez por el Horcajo

Yesterday we checked out a walking route of 19 km from the Plaza de Lobos above Bérchules to Trevélez. It involves a landrover drop off at 2600m from were you start following an irrigition channel. Right from the beginning you have spectacular views of a number of the high peaks - like the Mulhacén - and you can see Trevélez in the distance. After 4 km you get to the Barranco de las Albardas from which the high Acequia de Bérchules takes part of its water. Another 2 km further on you arrive at the Barranco de Río de Jérez, the origin of the Río Trevelez and with its borreguiles a very lush place. From here you start following another irrigation channel which even in high summer is bordered by green grass and flowers. This part is not suitable for people with fear of hights, because you need to walk on small, steep stretches with loose stones. Southwards you can see on a clear day the sea in the distance and to your right the views of the Alcazaba are impressive. You get to a crossroads with a sign for the Lagunas Vacares and the Puerto de Jérez.  From this point you follow the waymarked Puerto de Jérez route to El Horcajo and from here you walk along the river down to Trevélez. More information on these routes can be found in the small booklet Rutas por Trevélez.
If you are interested in doing this walk to Trevélez, or use the Plaza de Lobos as a starting point for any other route, you can contact us for more information on a landrover ride up to this excellent viepoint. If you just want to spend a few hours high up, something can be arranged as well, just driving up is already a great experience. A nice alternative is to just walk to the Barranco de las Albardas, a great place for butterfly sighting. Here we photographed, amongst others, Dusky Meadow Browns (Hyponephele lycaon), the endemic Spanish Brassy Ringlet (Erebia hispania), Black Satyrs (Satyrus actaea), Dark Green Fritllaries (Argynnis aglaja) and the Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus) with the rolled up proboscis. This photo journey gives an impression of the spectacular route ´Trevélez por el Horcajo´. Here we offer the GPS track of this walk

High mountain walking without climbing, a perfect high summer option.

Related articles:
- Rutas por Trevélez
- Horseback riding with Virgen de las Nieves from Trevélez
- Cerro del Gallo, the highest mountain of Bérchules
- Acequia de Bérchules

Related key words: wandeling, bergwandelen, hiking, trekking, las alpujarras, hooggebergte

6 August 2011

A slide show of the high route to Trevélez in high summer

Having now a better idea of the different butterflies in the area, we decided to count the number of species on an August day on the high route to Trevélez. While ascending through the pine forest we saw a number of graylings resting on trees. In a clearing we saw a Tree Grayling (Hipparchis statilinus) with marbled looking underwings resting on a stone with exactly the same colouring. Almost at the end of the forest, close to a small pond, we saw a number of Iberian Marbled Whites (Melargia lachesis). After having left the forest behind, we entered the world of slate and Black Satyrs (Satyrus actaea), there were literally hundreds of them. At 2400m we saw a Humming-bird Hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) polinizing a Centranthus nevadensis, an endemic type of valerian. Just before the highest point of the route we saw a number of Blues that we have not identified yet. On the top of the Peña de los Papos (2538m) a Purple-shot Copper (Lycaena alciphron) and a Large Wall Brown (Lasiommata maera) were sunbathing. Another highlight was the reservoir at the top of the Barranco de los Castaños were we saw more Iberian Marbled Whites, apparently they want to be near water. Here we could also take photographs of Clouded Yellows (Colias croceus), Fritillaries, Lang's Short-tailed Blues (Leptotes pirithous) and other types of Blues, all atracted by the flowering ragwort, mentha and thistles. On the descend we saw Dusky Heaths (Coenonympha dorus subsp andalusica), another Large Wall Brown feeding on a yellow thistle, a Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia) that did not want its picture taken and more Blues while crossing a stream. In the slide show we included a Striped Grayling (Hipparchia fidia), not a very good photo but the first one we sighted ever. Apart from the fifteen different species of butterflies we counted, we also saw a number of different grasshoppers and two different types of dragonflies, a male (blue) and female (golden) of a Broad-bodied Chaser (Libelle depressa) and the striking Golden-ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii) near a small natural pool close to Trevélez. We made a slide show with photogrpahs of these insects and their habitats, and of course of the excellent views. For those interested in doing this route, we offer a taxi drop off to the pine forest at 1900m.  This means you could arrive in Trevélez at lunch time, when you do not get off too late, which can be nice on a warm summer day.