Posts

Processionary pine tree caterpillars

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Processionary caterpillars are the larval stage of the pine processionary moth: thaumetopoea pityocampa, which lays eggs in pine trees. The caterpillars which I photographed here in 2009 have irritant hairs, which they shed and can cause problems to mammals, especially dogs and humans. Their cocoon type nests will appear in pine trees around November - December. This is the time to deal with them.





The way I deal with them is to cut out the nests from affected branches and dispose of them. Some people will spray them first with hair lacquer to contain the hairs. Others burn the removed nests. The more you destroy this year, the less you may have next year as it disrupts their life cycle. Whichever method you use, be very careful not to get any hairs on your skin, in your eyes, etc. In case of need, seek medical help. Wikipedia article

Common snakes in Almería

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These are the most common snakes seen around Almería: English: Ladder snake. Latin: Elaphe scalaris, Spanish: Culebra de escalera

Montpellier Snake, Malpolon Monspessulanus, Culebra Bastarda.

Horseshoe snake,Coluber hippocrepis,Culebra de herradura

Southern smooth snakeCoronella GirondicaCulebra bordelesa, culebra coronela lisa meridional

Less common here are: False smooth snakeMacroprotodon CucullatusCulebra de Cugulla

Grass snakeNatrix natrixCulebra de agua or de collar

Question. Are there adders (Vipera Berus) snakes in Spain?
Answer. My research says not, but the snake below is often mistaken for an adder, (adding to the myth that there are).
Viperine SnakeNatrix MauraCulebra Viperina

 Page reviewed on 6th Jan 2020

How to get rid of black algae in a swimming pool

HOW TO GET RID OF BLACK ALGAE Black algae attack – how I got rid of it some years ago: Here’s an unedited entry from my diary in July 2007 when I had black algae outbreak in a 10×5 metre pool of classic tiled concrete construction: “With pump off, I brushed off every bit of black algae that I could see. This took more than 3 hours of hard scrubbing. Whilst doing so I dropped shock chlorine onto the floor in the position where I was working and also used a chlorine tablet on the bottom of the pool, which I placed over really stubborn marks after brushing them. I then went back to the stubborn marks and brushed again until it was all gone. In total I put in 20g/cubic metre 1.5kg in total into the 75 m3 pool. This should have raised the level of free Cl to about 20 ppm (I hope).
The water, incidentally, was crystal clear prior to and during this operation. I found a small reservoir of algae hiding in a skimmer flap. Between the flap and the float chamber was a layer of black algae, this w…

Fiscal Residency in Spain

Tax residence residency in Spain(Fiscal residence)
The best advice in English that I can find is in this excellent post on the Andalucia forum
Any person who spends more than 183 days in Spain in any Spanish Tax year becomes tax resident.
The Spanish Tax Year is the calendar year (January 1st to December 31st) not the same as the Tax Year in the UK. Page reviewed 6th Jan 2020

Red Palm Weevil Beetle

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The red palm beetle or weevil is a very real threat to palm trees in Spain, after it was imported in trees from North Africa (probably Egypt). The plague has spread into France and other European countries.




 This is the adult beetle, (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus) which was photographed outside my back door in September 2012. it was about 4cm long. The female of the species lays around 200 eggs on palm trees. Their favourite in Spain is the Canary palm, (date palm). The larva then burrow into the tree, eating the inside. This usually kills the tree.They were first observed in coconut palms in Asia.



The signs of infestation are:
1. Noises coming from the crown area of the  tree.
2. The crown collapses.
3. The tree yellows and dies.
4. Pupa appear on the outside of the tree in a cocoon of palm material.
5. Adult beetles appear.

 The best insecticide to use was Imidacloprid but the EU banned it in 2012 over fears of harming bees. Consult your local garden pesticides dealer for the latest…

Los Carrascos, Almería, a great place to live.

Los Carrascos, Arboleas is a great location to live.Ten good reasons to choose Los Carrascos? I might be a bit biased as I have lived in this village from 1998, having bought an old cortijo in 1995 and then developing it. When considering property in the Almería area, some advice is always helpful. I can tell you why Los Carrascos is probably one of the best places to live in Spain, and I can give you 10 good reasons why.

1. Los Carrascos, is not coastal, so not as expensive as beachfront areas, but it is within about 35 minutes drive of the closest Meditteranean beaches, so if you love sea views, they are never very far away.

2. Los Carrascos has 3000 hours of sunshine every year, that is an average of more than 8 hours every day!

3. Los Carrascos is not in the town, but is only 3 minutes by car, or 20 minutes walk down the rambla to Arboleas, which has a doctor’s surgery, (new medical centre is under construction), supermarkets, fitness centre/gym, bars, restaurants, dentist, town…

The Albox News (1998)

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"The Albox News" We are currently having a sort out at our house and came across a pile of copies of the "Albox News". It was a publication started in the Autumn of 1998 and I thought I would share the first edition with you, or at least page 1... It was published by ex-pats in the "International Office" in Albox which was in a building at the top of Av. Pio XII (opposite "Bar Gloria"). That building was later demolished, a sports shop and block of flats stands in that place. So, here is the front page of edition #1 of the Albox News - from October 1998.
You can click on the image and it should be large enough to read.
 By 2000 the publication morphed into the "Almanzora Valley Neighbours Association Newsletter"