You may remember our last trip to Spain where Monkey got to see lots of interesting mini beasts with Guru Gramps. Well, we weren’t going to miss the opportunity to go on another bug hunting trip when we visited Spain again recently. We were off bug hunting in the Campo with Guru Gramps again.
The weather in Southern Spain has been rather erratic lately and Dad has really noticed how late the wild flowers have been in coming out. This has had a dramatic effect on the butterflies and moths he’s been spotting in his walks in the Campo. Normally at this time of year he would expect to see upwards of 15 different species in a 2 hour walk. He’d been experiencing walks with no sightings at all.
We arrived in Spain on 28th February, it was sunny in warm in Malaga, it wasn’t where my parents live in the mountains! It was windy and rather cold. Over the next few days we had torrential rain and more rain. Not ideal bug hunting weather, so we’d been off exploring different places. Finally we had a bright, sunny morning and the wind had dropped. It was time for some bug hunting in the Campo! Mum and Dad are so lucky to have the Campo (countryside) literally on their doorstep, within a couple of minutes we’d got the magnifying glass out (a Christmas present from home) and we were on the look out for mini beasts!
It didn’t take long before we came across the most amazing sight. At first glance it looked like huge spiders webs across the verges – hundreds of them. But Guru Gramps was on hand – they were in fact masses of Spanish Tiger Moth caterpillars. We were all stunned by the quantities of them. As we walked further along the track, we saw more and more clumps, caterpillars of various stages. Monkey was enthralled.
The photographs really don’t do the scene justice, they were everywhere. I’d never seen that amount of caterpillars in one place. Guru Gramps promised to show us an example of the Spanish Tiger Moth when we got home.
We continued our walk, even I could tell that the flowers were few and far between and, although we did see some butterflies on our walk, it was nothing compared to other trips. But we were out in the Campo on a lovely sunny morning, Monkey had his stick in hand for most of the time. When we weren’t bug hunting we spotted the odd tractor, and even a hare (you can just make it out in this photo).
I never tire of walking in the Campo, there’s always something new to look at, Monkey loves it. He can really explore. Bug hunting in the Campo is turning into a big adventure. It takes me back to my childhood, my brother and I madly trying to catch butterflies in our nets. We never did quite get the flick of the wrist action my Dad has! Maybe Monkey will get that gene passed on – I hope so.
Before I forget, the caterpillars will turn into these lovely Spanish Tiger Moths!
I’m linking this post up with Country Kids this week.