Great week in Barcelona on the annual art college residential trip. Back at home the first shoots are sprouting up and snowdrops are appearing at the roadside as I cycle to and from work in the cold mornings. I even saw a butterfly in the garden last week but I think it was probably woken early from hibernation by me moving a log-pile and therefor destined for an icy demise.
In Barcelona the wildlife and landscape are different in so many ways. The land, although chilly and spring like, is dry and dusty and there are palm trees and cactuses on the hillsides. In Gaudi's wonderful landscaped Park Guell there were parrots everywhere squawking and pairing up in the palm tops. The females, I assume, were guarding the entrances to the nests while the males flew back and fro with oversize twigs and straws. In the fish market the counters were loaded with mediterranean species not seen here, black sea urchins, scorpion fish and mantis shrimps.