Practical Ecology

Nature Switched On

 

 

 

 


in the Pyrenees

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gallery 1: 2006-2012
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>> 2012 Apr 8
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                         a   S T A M M E R  project              

2012 March 17 to 31


The last months have been very dry and relatively warm, so the recent rainfall is more than welcome.
 
This period I inverted much time and energy in yet another little housing, but this time on wheels: our new Volkswagen Transporter T3 Camper. With its 24 years almost a classic now but it still drives nicely, inviting to go without haste, not only because of its limited engine power but also because the pilot seats are so comfortable and the view is splendid. Its turbo diesel engine is even more economical than our old Toyota Corolla (of the same age). Three or four people can travel and sleep in it.

 

The Volkswagen has of course not a direct relationship with the Nature Switched On process and I am not going to write extensively about our trips. I bought it as an ideal means of transport and housing for our photo 'safari' travels around Spain, visiting abandoned industrial sites and desolate landscapes. The harvest of photos can be admired in the Photography Galleries.


 


 


 

 

 

 


WWW   NSO
The new house on wheels, doubling its function as a guest house.
31 Mar 12:09
The Volkswagen T3 in the steppe area of Monegros, near Zaragoza.
17 Mar 18:00
 
Monegros, Zaragoza.
17 Mar 18:16
 
 

 

Near our beloved power station in Teruel.
23 Mar 19:22

Early morning in Teruel.
24 Mar 8:37
 

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In our zone we will have to consider another regular management method, besides haymaking: ground leveling.
It seems that a herd of swine has paid regular visits to the terrain this winter, severely tilling many areas and, even worse, uprooting all of the five precious White-leaved rockroses (Cistus albidus) planted several years ago. They also made use of the upper pond and seem to start a project to convert it into a mud pool.

 


This tilling of the soil is a nuisance and the affected areas will have to be leveled to facilitate regular cutting of the vegetation, but it gives also opportunities for new species to germinate and settle, and on the whole is perhaps more beneficial than a real problem, especially because the animals  seem to avoid the vegetable garden, which is really a miracle, given all the straw accumulated there.
The straw flakes in other areas, around planted shrubs, have been turned upside down, in search for earth worms, or perhaps truffle.
 

 

 
The beasts did not only dig but also tore complete plants out of the soil, in this case the beautiful Cistus albidus.
31 Mar 10:25
 
  The new development plan (but not mine) for the upper pond: a mud pool for swine.
31 Mar 10:10
Planting of new shrubs is now quite difficult, as the protecting straw layer is systematically displaced.
This young almond tree seems to hold on.
31 Mar 10:11
 
 

New green Welsh onion shoots (Allium fistulosum) are appearing among the old ones in the vegetable garden.
31 Mar 10:03

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A possible explanation for the rejection of the vegetable garden by the wild swine might be human urine. All the fruit tree around the house and vegetable garden are surrounded by a thick layer of hay and straw and receive the regular watering of (male) urine. It is known that a small canal dug around a tent in the jungle and filled with human urine deters wild animals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nevertheless my plan is to protect the vegetable garden more thoroughly and I started to erect another wall of branches on the, still open, north-east side of the garden. I used the enormous quantity of wood that came from the pruning of three almond trees near the house. As commented last November, these trees were developing too long and heavy branches, and I decided to prune them considerably. The result is quite dramatic but it's only a matter of time and these trees will give the area some intimacy again. The pruning resulted in enough firewood for another winter and the smaller branches will suffice for a wall of six meters long, more than one meter high and 40cm wide. Farmers in the region usually get rid of the branches by burning, but the beneficial ecological effects of branch-walls are well-known, offering shelter and shade for wild life.

 

The recently pruned Almond trees look like runes.
Notice the sprouting German iris and the green barley.
31 Mar 10:34

 

Branch wall in construction.
I use bamboo poles to erect the wall.
I suppose the width of 40 cm is enough to withstand the wind.
31 Mar 9:57

introduction
floristic catalogue
faunistic catalogue
contact
index
gallery 1: 2006-2012
gallery 2: 2012-
map
>> 2012 Apr 8
<< 2011 Dec 11

 

 

 


 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Latest revision on:  13/11/2013