Cabo de Gata Photography

Hi all, just a reminder that this blog has now moved to http://cabodegataphotography.wordpress.com and that you should update your details.

Unfortunately, I’ve lost all my followers although some of you have found me and are following me again and thank you for this. I’ve also lost all my stats and have seen a very significant drop in the number of visitors since I switched URLs.

So, dive on over to my new blog, follow me and it would be really good if you could start liking some of the blog posts that you previously liked… see you there!

Cabo de Gata Photography

Cabo de Gata Photography

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Strange News from Another Star

There are so many photography (social networking) websites about these days that it’s confusing knowing which ones to use. In some respects, it may be a good idea to maximise your potential and submit to all of them but if you did, there would be no time to do anything else!

In the past few weeks I have started up a Trek Earth account, so far so good, added some images via Flickr to The Getty Images website (don’t have a link for this just yet) and started an Instagram page which I think is linked to only from Facebook or a mobile app. This is all in addition to my Pinterest, Panoramio and Flickr sites and to be honest, if any more of them pop up and demand my attention, I’d be inclined not to bother – yes they’re all very nice  and fun to have but essential??? Hmmm… a subject for much debate methinks. Almost every week someone tells me that I must start an account with X or Y, time will tell which proves to be the more useful I guess!

What does everyone else think of them? I kind of like the concept of the Trek Earth but to be honest, the same thing looks to be covered by other photography websites, albeit in a different way. I remember when I started my Flickr account, my idea was to submit only my best images but then in the end, I sent the good, the bad and the ugly anyway. So now I have started my Trek Earth account with the same idea, in fact the same idea I had when setting up my Panoramio account, et al – does everyone else do the same thing?

Let’s stop all this serious discussion now and look at a nice photo of agaves and the moon – apparently in Mexico the agave is known as a plant of the moon because of the shape of the leaves and the chumbo (prickly pear) a plant of the sun for the same reason. Oops, forgot to say about my inclusion on the Parque Natural website – check this 🙂

Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata

Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata

The Ocellated Lizard

The Ocellated Lizard is one of the largest members of its family. The adult is 30 – 60 centimetres long (1 – 2 feet) and may reach up to 90 centimetres (3 feet), its tail makes up about two thirds of its length.

This reptile is found in various habitats from sea level up to 2,100 metres in southern Spain. It prefers dry bushy areas such as open woodland and scrub, old olive groves and vineyards. The lizard usually stays on the ground but climbs well on rocks and in trees.

This is a robust lizard with a serrated collar. The male has a characteristic broad head. It has thick strong legs, with long curved claws. The dorsal background colour is usually green but sometimes grey or brownish especially on head and tail. This is overlaid with black stippling that may form a bold pattern of interconnected rosettes. The underside is yellowish or greenish. The male is brighter in colour than the female and has blue spots on its flanks; there are fewer or none in the female.

The Ocellated Lizard feeds mainly on large insects, especially beetles, and also robs birds’ nests and occasionally takes reptiles, frogs, and small mammals. It also eats fruit and other plant matter, especially in dry areas.

Ocellated Lizard

Ocellated Lizard

An Amazing Sky

Tonight there is an amazing colourful hue in the sky over San José, the photograph below doesn’t do it full justice. We’re blessed with having some amazing cloud / light combinations here in our paradise, especially autumn through to spring – sometimes in summer too.

Clouds over San José

Clouds over San José

The Tapas Culture

I guess to many people who haven’t experienced “proper” tapas, the concept is a little strange. I meet lots of people in San José on holiday who have no idea how it works. Tapas bars in London and I guess other places outside Spain don’t operate in the same way for example in a London tapas bar, you would buy a drink and then the tapas separately. In my lovely little village, there are some great tapas bars and slightly further afield in Almería, there are the best tapas bars I’ve ever been to and the concept is thus… you buy an alcoholic drink, mosto (grape juice) or a non-alcoholic beer and the tapas comes with it… free, yes that’s right FREE. The tapas are usually about two to three bites big but after maybe three drinks, you’ve had a nice light sized meal and a great night out.

Chorizo al Infierno - I like to toast my bread :-)

Chorizo al Infierno – I like to toast my bread!

Many of the bars pride themselves on their house specialites as well as the more traditional tapas such as carné con tomate (meat with tomato sauce), patatas bravas (spicy potatoes) and pincho moruno (spiced chicken mini-kebab). Such specialities include my favourite chorizo al infierno (chorizo from hell) – a small spicy sausage served on fire like a sambuca would be, raxos (a Galician style tapas) – pork fillet (lomo) in a savoury sauce, choto al ajillo (goat in spicy garlic sauce) etc.

Seafood Tapas

Seafood Tapas

Some bars serve very upmarket tapas but NOT at upmarket prices! It’s very rare to pay more than €2.75 and for that you’ll get a very good quality glass of wine… well actually, you’d be hard pressed to find a wine in a Spanish bar that isn’t a good quality 🙂 There are also a number of bars that specialise in vegetarian and vegan tapas e.g., cherigans (a bit like crisp breads with various toppings), tortilla de patatas (potato omlette), pimientos rellenos (stuffed peppers) so there is indeed something for everybody.

The word “tapas” is derived from the Spanish verb tapar, “to cover” and according to one legend, the tapas tradition began when king Alfonso X of Castile recovered from an illness by drinking wine with small dishes of food between meals. After regaining his health, the king ordered that taverns would not be allowed to serve wine to customers unless it was accompanied by a small snack or “tapa”.

Huevo a la Plancha

Huevo a la Plancha

The most popular history of tapas is that the original tapas were the slices of bread or meat which sherry drinkers in Andalucia used to cover their glasses between sips. This was a practical measure meant to prevent fruit flies from hovering over and spoiling the sherry. The meat used to cover the sherry was normally ham or chorizo, both of which are salty and activate thirst. Because of this, bartenders and restaurant owners began creating a variety of snacks to serve with sherry thus increasing their alcohol sales. Tapas has evolved through Spanish history by incorporating ingredients and influences from many different cultures and countries.

A big thank you to Amber McClean for providing the photographs, I realised after starting this article that I actually have NO photographs of food!

Music in Almeria

…here are just a few of the many “pop” music videos made in the province of Almería 🙂

So are you gonna come and visit me and see why this is such a popular location for filming???

Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus

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Jamiroquai – Cosmic Girl

Contact details:

Martyn Thompson – Landscape Photography
http://martynthompson.net
https://martynthompsonphotography.wordpress.com
martyn@martynthompson.net
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