Round and round the gardens

Prrrring prrring. Prrrring prrrring. Who was that disturbing me on the ‘phone when I was busy doing nothing?

Ah, it was the working half of the household, requiring a jacket, cap and neck protection because he was working in full sun.

He took the cap the other day but without the neck protection.

‘Aren’t you going to take the neck bit?’ I asked.


‘Why not?’

‘I don’t want to look silly.’

He’d clearly decided that looking silly was better than burning.

After searching high and low in the flat, I eventually found the required goodies and dutifully trotted up to the job.

Decorator joins the French foreign legion

Clothing handed over, idle chat finished, I wandered off. Sensibly I had the camera with me and as the job was right opposite the botanical gardens, in I nipped.

I’ve made a lot more effort this year to try and go in different months to see the changes. Although we have such a mild – sub-tropical – climate often with little variation in temperatures, it’s surprising how different the gardens can look.

Why is the street light on at 11am?

Lighting my way in the day

Round the gardens I went, anti-clockwise for once, and up to the native section, in the hopes that the rare and unique Gibraltar species may be in flower. My luck was in. The Gibraltar sea lavender was blooming. Well sort of. I was pretty disappointed in this one!

Sea lavender – a rare species

More about Gib’s rare plants on this post about the Alameda Gardens back in February.

But the fountain was nice. A cool and green spot in the heat of the day.

Cool fountain

Better still were the two baby, or rather not so baby but young, seagulls who were out to play and testing their wings.

Hop, skip and a jump up the steps

I decided to wander past the Wildlife Sanctuary or whatever it is called. I’ve never been in. Apart from the fact that it is a couple of quid (I think) I don’t like gawping at animals in cages.

Not much space to fly

When I went on the – free – tour round the gardens (monthly on a Saturday), we were told that the animals in the park mainly come from seizures by HM Customs of animals that were being smuggled. In which case, I suppose the park is a) better than them being killed and b) better than their probable destination.

We were also told that staff at the park had been trying to negotiate for animals to be transferred to larger zoos/parks/whatever in Spain – but the odd few problems with Gib and Spain put a stop to that.

They also have unwanted exotic pets and animals such as the Cotton-topped tamarin, on loan from international Zoos, to raise awareness of important endangered species.

The park aims to:

  • provide the best possible care for all animals at the conservation park
  • teach and inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to engage in conservation of wildlife and habitats
  • take part in European and international breeding programmes which help protect endangered species
  • raise awareness of conservation and biodiversity
  • re-home confiscated animals they cannot house at the park
  • educate and help people to choose exotic pets wisely whilst supporting international campaigns against the illegal pet trade.

Walking around the outside you can usually see a few birds and monkeys but they must all have been asleep or moved elsewhere. It doesn’t look too bad from this sneaky pic I took through a hole in the fencing.

Inside the conservation park

But what saddos do this??

Feed them to the lions I say

To end on a more cheerful note, here are the lovely fish from the pond in The Dell.

Just swimming around

All flower posts from this trip will make their way onto Everypicturetellsone.

And Partner’s Spanish co-worker didn’t think he looked at all silly in his French foreign legion hat. In fact, he thought it was extremely sensible.

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35 comments on “Round and round the gardens

    • Thanks, and so did I. It just didn’t fit with the text to insert into the post – I couldn’t resist the pic though when I walked past. Perhaps I will give it a post of its own on my not-a-photo-blog.


  1. What a wonderful way to spend the day and for those wishing to destroy or maim the animal, yes, feed them to the lions.

    Great pictures..loved the waterfall!!!


    • They are small gardens, it was only an hour or so :D

      I don’t know whether people were vandalising the environment, or trying to steal animals (it has happened) but either way, just, don’t.

      I think that’s the first time I’ve seen water coming out of it actually, so it was nice to see it so fresh and cool.


  2. That was really interesting to read. A looks quite smart in his ‘legion’ attire.
    I don’t like seeing caged animals either, but as you say, it’s a far better option than what might have been.
    The washday pic is brilliant!!!!!! and I just love the seagulls.


    • The wildlife park is a mixed bag I guess. Doing something good out of a bad situation, but after five years I still can’t bring myself to visit. I’ve seen the odd parrot sitting outside :) will try and find the link.

      I really was grabbed by all the washing, and so neatly done too!! I’ll see later (ie days later) if DT does it any favours for its own post :D

      The seagulls were so cute. Although quite big, they are not at flying stage. A few weeks ago, the adults were dive bombing us (!! The Birds!!) when the babies were really young and we were out with Pippa. I think they are still doing it on one of the sites where A is working. Some guy was freaked and had to be moved off site :D


  3. I love your snapshot of life on Gib posts. Very interesting that the park is truly conservationist. I wouldn’t be able to resist a visit. The wander around the gardens was lovely. Next time the sun appears I may now be inspired to wander across the road to Sydney’s. I too love the washing day photo, there’s just something about washing that shows all is well enough in the world.


    • Thanks ED. I’m always posting about the flowers and trees, so I thought it would be interesting to let people know about the – very small – animal park. Maybe I’ll have a look when it re-opens after the refurb, I don’t know. Taking photos of animals outside is one thing, but behind bars… it does feel like spectator sport even if the intent of the park is a good thing.

      I thought the washing looked like the bunting for the jubilee, all gaily hung out to celebrate :)


  4. You didn’t get reported for looking suspicious with your camera pointing through holes in fences. then did you, heehe!, I’m in two minds also with these zoos/parks, however when they doing good and protecting the animals I can accept, and having to pay is also acceptable. If it wasn’t for these sicko’s we would not have quite a need. What happens if someone does washing on a Thursday. Gets ignored for a week. Again an enjoyable read thanks. ;)


  5. I cannot believe that people in Spain (or anywhere else in the world for that matter) who love and care for animals would let a minor political spat get in the way of animal welfare. Animals transcend politics, its not like they voted for what ever regime they live under.

    If there were animals in Zimbabwe (the most loathsome regime I can think of at this time of night) that needed rescue, and I was able to help them, I would do so without hesitation even if it meant giving Mugabe’s people money to secure the animals safety.


    • I don’t think it’s a problem with the people working with the animals – it will be higher up as ever. A bit like I don’t think the Guardia Civil actually want people to sit in a queue for hours in the heat of summer (or maybe they do!!) and that’s before you even consider animals in vehicles. They’re both political games as far as I can see.

      But to many people animals don’t transcend politics. They are there, but unimportant, or, not as important as people. The fact they are sentient beings and by and large want a peaceful life doesn’t seem to occur to people – they are there to exploit. Don’t provoke me!! I was going to write an animal post for Clouds anyway. There are an awful lot of animals need rescuing, in so many different countries and under so many different regimes…. The one thing they all have in common is abuse of animals.


    • I do like the sneak peaks through the fence, usually I’ve seen peacocks and some monkeys, but monkeys are pretty common on the streets in Gib so no excitement there :D There was a tiny bird tweeting away but I couldn’t see it.
      Not sure about the stealth though, glaringly obvious more like!


  6. Nice spot once again. (Not bright, that light?)
    Glad the refuge is there for animals in need. Wish politics weren’t such a problem.
    And vandalism – just unbelievable. Sadly you are probably right someone may have been trying to steal the animals/bird to sell.
    Well, enjoyed the baby seagulls, fountains, fish …actually all of it


    • Thanks. I always enjoy wandering up there, and as I usually post the flora aspect of it, I thought it was time for some fauna news. For a pretty small area of space it’s well laid out with a good variety of things to see. There’s even a tiny kiddy play park. That light looked quite incandescent, most odd.


    • I can’t actually remember the last time I went to one, must have been when I was a kid so we’re talking around 40 years ago. As for circuses and performing animals…. I won’t start on that.


    • I think that’s right about trying their best. In the circs the choices are pretty limited.

      I don’t think many people know much about Gibraltar except it is a big rock on the bottom of Spain with lots of monkeys :D I didn’t know any more than that before I came to live here. Thanks.


  7. What an enjoyable walk through the park … it sounded so calm and cool :) It’s so interesting to read about Gib. — this little place where most people have never been. I have been to the little zoo they have here, and it saddened me to no end. I will never go again. Your park ….that was a whole different story than a regular zoo.


    • It’s always nice going through there, lots of shady spots, greenery and colourful flowers too. Thanks and yes, it’s strange getting readers from all over the place who are fascinated about a tiny place. It’s definitely not a zoo fortunately, and it was good to learn about it when I first went around the gardens on the tour as I couldn’t work out why they had a small animal park originally.


  8. Great post! Almost forgot how refreshing your writing style is. Don’t get to read much these days, toooo busy!! Sounds like you had a nice day. I like the hat.:)


  9. got here via a comment at p&k that you had made about Gibraltar sea lavender. YMMG, of course, and one of the first things that came up was this post. the image is rather smallish, so am still not quite sure what it looks like. will have too google some more. but thought i would stop by and visit since i was in the neighbourhood :)
    as mentioned above, that wednesday washday image is one of my faves. a brilliant click!
    sad to see the caged birds. reminds me a bit of the winnipeg zoo that i visited back in my university days. couldn’t believe how small the cages/aquariums/tanks for the various animals were. i found it rather sad and disappointing. and yet at the same time, i guess it is a matter of people doing their best. i actually googled that one, too, and see that it is now officially called Assiniboine Park Zoo.
    enjoyed your seagull clicks. love to capture them, too. they are so fun. anyhow, back to catching up on the comments at my end.
    just a quick heads-up. our heating system is up and working now – and the weather stayed warm right up until that day. all is well. other reno’s continue, but hopefully they will all be done by mid-October at the latest. will send an email soon.


    • Looking forward to the email. I’m catching up after an internet break, a load of busyness yesterday and thinking I NEED the weekend to sort things.

      I loved the seagulls, the not so little adolescents are so cute. They are meant to cull them here for some reason. Why? Bah :(

      Thanks for the comment on the washday pic – it didn’t fit with the theme so that’s why it got put in the slideshow – but interesting to note who looks at a slideshow and comments on it :)

      Just looked up Gib sea lavender and you are right, I am up there! But you know, how many people will be looking that one up?!

      Heating, what’s that? Sitting here skimpily dressed as usual :D


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