Monday, June 10, 2013

A new location of the Orchis italica (naked man orchid).

A new location of the Orchis italica in the Cistierna area (province of León).


The Orchis italica is a Mediterranean orchid whose distribution is mainly located in the southern half of Spain, while in the north of Spain their are only two known territories (see map). Two weeks ago I found three specimens of Orchis italica in the neighbourhood of Cistierna, situated between those northern territories and indicated on the map by the blue rectangle.

Characteristics of the Orchis italica.

The Orchis italica is known in English as the naked man orchid, due to the form of the individual flowers which resemble a naked male form. The spike is very densely packed with flowers of a purple-pink-whitish colour. The petals and sepals are all curved upwards forming a kind of helmet covering the column. The lip is long and has the shape of a man, with arms, legs and a third protuberance. The colour of the spur is somewhat lighter than the rest of the flower and this spur is short, thick and slightly curved downwards. The bracts are short compared to the ovary. The leaves are corrugated and may have some purple-brown spots.
The orchids I have found were all located on more or less shady places between the bushes, but they also occur on sunny grasslands.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Riaño lake, the valley of Oseja de Sajambre and the pilgrimage village of Covadonga.

Deze post in het Nederlands: klik hier.

From Cistierna to Covadonga: Pictures of some very special places in the Cantabrian Mountains.


From Cistierna, a village situated on the southern edge of the Cantabrian Mountains, to Covadonga we have to cross almost the entire Cantabrian Mountain chain. The 100 km which separate both villages can be driven by car in about 2 hours, although the beauty of the landscape probably will cause a considerable delay. Yesterday we repeated this trip and in this post I want to share some pictures of some very special places we came along. These places are only a small part of the overwhelming nature which will be encountered on this trip, for instance the mountains of Crémenes, the mountain pass "El Ponton" and the huge gorge of the "Desfiladero de los Beyos" are not photographed.