Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Friday, 13 May 2011

Lost World or Hidden Gem?

I’m linking this post to Carmi’s Written Inc, where every week he presents with a thematic photographic challenge. For number 164 he presented us with ‘It’s in the details’, so I immediately thought of this post where I homed in on the details of our curious rock formations and flora, here in Lanzarote. Clicking on the pictures should allow you to dig in even deeper into the details.

This is about our discovery of the ‘hidden gem in Lanzarote’s crown’ (as described in ‘Lanzarote Walks’ by David A Brawn and Ros Brawn). The day was warm and we seemed to be in for a calima (a hot, dry, dusty wind blowing off the Sahara); but there was a pleasant breeze and we were well-covered in suncream. Montana Cuervo was our destination. And, although we knew our own ‘local’ volcano, Montana Roja, this one was an unknown quantity.
As we got nearer we saw some intrepid climbers scaling the side of the volcano, in a scene reminiscent of ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’. We came across them later after we had circumnavigated the base of the volcano, so there was no mysterious disappearance here!
 Once we were on the path, our progress was slowed by frequent stops to admire the curiously shaped rock formations and lava flows from ancient eruptions, examining minute flowers pushing their way through the picon (volcanic ash), and taking numerous photographs.

Wild geraniums thrive in a seemingly unforgiving terrain

Olivine making a stark contrast against the laval rock
Olivine mica was scattered along the path, glistening in the sun like a frosty pavement in lamplight. The olivine crystals grow deep in the volcano when the magma is forming. Larger areas were embedded in the lava as though it had been thrown on with a paintbrush, and, if you allowed your imagination to run riot, you could see hidden animal and insect shapes. The one below suggested a bird - whichever way I turned it.
Once inside the crater it was as though we had become part of a lost world. All was quiet and calm. The only wildlife were the occasional small lizard scurrying between lichen-covered rocks, or the odd bird wheeling overhead.
The path into the crater
There were one or two others already enjoying this magical place; sitting quietly or ‘beachcombing’ amongst the rocks for treasures. We lost all sense of time whilst we wondered at this marvel of nature, and found ourselves imagining more hidden shapes and likening some of the twisted forms to everyday objects. The colours were wonderful, and our cameras hardly did them justice on this dry, sunny day. How much more beautiful they must look after a rain shower.
The colours of this rock reminded me of a childood sweet called 'Penny Chew’ the caramel and banana elements mingling together.
Some mimicked other natural forms. This fossilised lava flow appeared to be  a gnarled tree trunk.
A small piece of Olivine is captured in the flow of lava and petrified in time.
The landscape is littered with skeletal plants with a stark appeal of their own 

Pumice to be proud of!


  1. I love all your unusual rock formations and nice photos. What an exotic place to visit. i would love to walk into the crater of a volcano. Even if it is dormant there must be an aura of danger about it. Thanks for visiting and commenting on my crazy blog! :)

  2. This is wonderful - thanks for posting these. People seem to love or hate Lanzarote. I thought it was beautiful, like being on another planet and I love the way that even in this apparently desolate landscape, there is so much life. I don't blame you for moving there.

  3. Hi thanks for visiting my blog and leading me to yours! Your boot sales sound so fun! Ive been to lanzarote a couple of times, love looking at your pictures. Scarlett x

  4. That last photo is more like vesicular lava than pumice, I think. The ropy lava is called pa-hoe-hoe.

  5. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of this. I must say it was like nowhere I had ever been and I will return at some point. The photographs are magnificent - and it is only when you click and enlarge that you get a real idea of scale.

  6. Wow, these are stunning. Such an other-worldly place. Lucky you to be able to experience it.

    The rocks are truly amazing.

  7. Fantastic Nell. When we visited the volcanoes the tour guides were real spoilsports, insisting we could not go off and explore. Lanzarote has to be seen to be believed, You have brought it alive with these photographs.

    1. That would Timanfaya Bob. They are very protective of the National Park and you have to leave your cars and go by coach on the way up. However, there are many, many more, to be discovered. it’s also called the ‘island of three hundred volcanoes’!

  8. Otherworldly, in the best possible way! Thanks for sharing these amazing shots of a landscape so rich in detail, texture and history.

  9. God, these are stunning on so many levels. It always freaks me out how life defiantly goes on in the craziest of environments. You'd expect nothing but death and silence here. Yet, life is as abundantly rich here as it is anywhere else. That's inspiring!

  10. Great texture and detail in this shots! Just beautiful!


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