Month: September 2017

Of clouds and pines

My mother and I just spent a week on Tenerife. I knew little about the place when we set out, other than that it gets lots of tourists. As it turns out, the island has a fascinating human history, a surprising variety of micro-climates, and once you get away from the tourist centres, stunning volcanic landscapes and associated ecosystems. Perched in the centre is Mount Teide, which, at 3718 metres, is the highest mountain in Spain. Looking up from the coast, its peak is often obscured by clouds. These arrive with the northeastern trade winds and are intercepted by the island’s high topography, bringing moisture to the land in the process.

Owing in part to those clouds, the way ecosystems change with elevation is quite striking. My mom and I had a chance to observe this first hand on a one-day hike in the Teno mountains.

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Ink Practice

I just spent some time travelling and took along the ink pens. Here is a snail I found in a cabinet at one of the places I was staying. A very quick piece, by my standards. The main challenge was to capture both three-dimensional structure and the complex markings on the shell.