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Winter in the woods 

My New Year could not have got off to a better start. It was a glorious warm sunny day, and my partner, Andy Tenerife Walker took me for a lovely walk through country and Pine forest near Vilaflor.

Our walk began along a good path with vineyards either side of it, the grapes long since picked and made into very good wine. A Buzzard soared on high gliding through the sky with ease.

It was hard to believe that it was winter, not only because the sky was blue and we were bathed in glorious sunshine, but I was amazed at the number of flowers that were out for the time of year: I came across California poppies eschscholzia californica, a foxglove type flower known as Balm of Gilead cedronella canariensis, bladder campion silene vulgaris and perhaps one of Tenerife’s “stunners”, the tree house leek aeonium gomerense which was covered in bees drinking its sweet nectar. The almond blossom was also in full bloom dotting shades of pale pink against the grey backdrop of the rocks.

By accident, we found ourselves in a field of tomatoes cleared in late autumn, apparent because of the many small green tomatoes left upon the ground, some of which had self-seeded. The field is now awash with the yellow and white of Tenerife’s equivalent of buttercups and daisies which danced upon the gentle breeze.

We then began a short ascent which led us into forest. We were just on the tree line and the forest here is not dense, so the warm sun shone through the tree’s boughs keeping us warm as we walked. I could hear the gentle breeze whistling through the trees. My mind drifted away as my eyes beheld the lovely sights and I breathed in the clean smell of the Pine in this very pretty forest.

As we ambled on the path widened. Here, many young Pine trees only about 15 cm in height appeared. Just like a fledgling bird has a paler downier coat than its parents, young Pine trees have fleshier needles which are silver grey in colour compared to the mid-green, sturdier needles of the mother plant.

This walk is a loop. Therefore, having ascended into forest it followed reason that we would have to descend and leave the forest into countryside once more. The descent was particularly picturesque with beautiful views over the mountains and to La Gomera.

Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me. Perhaps she surprises herself on occasions, especially when spring seems to appear too early. If only I didn’t need my beauty sleep to maintain a healthy and seemingly natural rejuvenation as she.

For further information regarding Tenerife’s great outdoors, please see: www.tenerife-guided-walks.com

By Lynne Scaife