Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Volcanos and Wildlife of Tenerife

The new season of indoor meetings got underway last night with Andy Kendall talking about ‘The Volcanos and Wildlife of Tenerife”.

The last eruption in Tenerife was in 1905 – a blink of the eye in geological time – and the island’s landscape is dominated by its volcanic past. Andy talked in particular about two caving trips, one with a surveying team and one with a group of artists (from the International Society of Spelaeological Art), to explore lava tubes on the island. In particular, they explored the extensive Cueva del Viento - Sobrado system in the north-west of the island. This is the fifth largest lava tube in the world; the top four being in Hawaii. Lava tubes are distinctive caves formed by lava flowing below the surface.

The lava inside the tubes is not all black as you might expect, but coloured, often yellow, by minerals and bacterial growth. Tree roots grow down from the roof of some of the caves, giving a surrealistic look to the photos. The rock is hard and jagged, with characteristic features including shelves, bubble bursts and, more rarely, stalactite forms.

The talk was illustrated with some spectacular photos, both above and below ground, with a few sequences set to music. Andy also showed sketches that the artists did underground, giving a different perspective to the caves.

On the second visit, Andy and his party got to the top of the 3,718m peak of Mount Teide. The photos looking down at the caldera wall and the distant coastline certainly made me want to revisit the otherworldly beauty of the volcanos of Tenerife.

Before the talk, the Cardiff Naturalists Society held its AGM.

The next indoor meeting, which is about Antarctica, is on Monday 14 October, is at the same place: The Cardiff School of Management building on Metropolitan University’s Llandaff Campus (Room 0023) at 7.30pm. The new program can be found elsewhere on this blog:

Sunday, September 8, 2013

2013 - 14 Programme is now on-line

Our New programme is now on-line as you can see

As was noted to members in the last newsletter we have LOADS and LOADS of really wonderful wildlife books for sale. The plan is that each and every indoor meeting this year will be preceded by a book/picture sale until I have nothing left in my front room.

The books are those left to the society by Dr Mary Gillham. There are books on just about everything and keys on all plant and animal groups, new naturalists, large format picture books and many, many books written by Mary Gillham herself.

We’ve boxed them up into general categories, but I won’t be going through them and bringing them in any specific order as there are simply too many boxes to be going through them each time. So the best thing you can do is get there early (from about 7:00) and give yourself time to browse and chat with other members.

To members, most things will be name your own price, but there are some rare books we know have value and will be putting a suggested donation on. All proceeds from these sales will be going towards our Student prize fund so you’ll be helping me get my front room back and the society with your donations and the next generation by funding their studies

Non members will be requested to offer a little more in donations for the books that were published with prices as per the publications page on the CNS website. Members prices will be so low you should seriously consider joining us

Margery Lewis

Someone our older members will remember with fondness has left us

She was one of Mary G’s class regulars – can’t be many left now. We hadn’t seen Margery for some years but remember her with affection and admiration
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