IN PICS: The Super Snow Moon as seen from Spain

One of three supermoons visible this year, the one that appeared last night was the biggest and brightest full moon of 2019

IN PICS: The Super Snow Moon as seen from Spain
Julián Mateos / fotosdelmarques / instagram

February’s full moon is known as the “snow moon” as a result of the heavy snowfall that often occurs at that time of year. 

And because this year's February full moon was one of three supermoons to be seen this year, it was dubbed the “super snow moon”. 

Supermoons occur when the Moon’s orbit brings it to the closest point to Earth while the Moon is full.

The Moon appeared about 7 per cent larger and 15 per cent brighter to observers, although experts insist the difference is barely noticeable to the human eye.

It made its closest approach to Earth since 1948 last year and it will not be that close again until 25 November 2034.

Luckily the skies were clear across most of Spain during Monday night which meant photographers were out late into the night to capture the rare sight. 

Here are some of The Local's favourites from across Spain. 

This beautiful time-lapse video captured the phenomenon over Madrid's Cuatro Torres – four towers – business district.



Here it is seen from another viewpoint in Madrid. This time the Torrespaña (aka El Piruli), the RTVE communications tower just off Calle O'Donnell.

From elsewhere in Spain, the supermoon looked just as stunning. 

Here it is above the Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona.

Providing the perfect backdrop to this hilltop castle in Catalonia: 






A post shared by CarlesArtigas (@carles.artigas.r) on Feb 19, 2019 at 11:41pm PST



And here it is viewed behind a windmill in Castilla-La Mancha. 

The super snow moon with the silhouette of a windmill was a popular theme on social media. 







A post shared by Julián Mateos? (@fotosdelmarques) on Feb 19, 2019 at 11:27pm PST

This dreamy shot was taken in Navarra. 

Watching it rise above Galatzo mountain in Mallorca was a treat.






A post shared by Juanjo Buendía (@juanjobuendia) on Feb 19, 2019 at 11:37pm PST

This final one was sent in by a reader in Caleta de Veléz.  Great photograph on the beach taken by Carlos Castro Garcia.

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Danger: toxic caterpillar plague creeps across Spain despite cold winter

Dog walkers need to be particularly vigilant for a tiny but deadly creature that could kill your pet.

Danger: toxic caterpillar plague creeps across Spain despite cold winter
Photo: Ayuntamiento Utrera

The first signs of spring are welcome to most but the winter thaw brings with it, the threat of a tiny, but highly toxic pest: the Pine Processionary Caterpillar  (Thaumetopoea Pityocampa).

“They pose a major risk to children and adults causing dermatitis, eye damage and severe allergic reaction and in pets even death,”  Milagros Fernandez de Lezeta, director of Spain's Pest Control Association (ANECPLA), told The Local.

And this year, despite extreme winter conditions brought by Storm Filomena last month, they have already been spotted in areas across Spain from A Coruña in the northwest to Sevilla in the south.

Pest control group Rentokil warned that the cold temperatures had done little to kill off the pests. “They can survive in temperatures of minus 12ºC”.




The eggs are laid in candyfloss-like nests in pine trees where they remain during the cold winter months.

As the temperature starts to rise with the approach of spring, the caterpillars hatch and drop to the ground to search for food.

They can easily be spotted moving head to tail in a procession to form the conspicuous snake-like lines for which they are named.

The caterpillars, measuring between three and four centimeters in length, are particularly dangerous to young children who may be curious enough to touch them, and to dogs, who may attempt to eat them.

Each caterpillar is covered with tiny barbed hairs containing a protein called thaumetopoein.

Photo: Ana /Flickr

Dogs are the main victims as when they come into contact with the caterpillars can pick up the hairs on their paws, which are then licked because of the irritation and the poison spreads to the mouth.

They could suffer breathing difficulties, vomiting or start foaming at the mouth and should be taken urgently to the nearest veterinary clinic for an immediate cortisone and antibiotic injection.

Sometimes amputation of the tongue or nose is the only course of action and of they reach the throat can cause suffocation and result in death.

The risk is particularly high in pine forests but is not confined exclusively to them and can occur anywhere where pine trees grow, including city parks, private gardens and roadsides.

Many councils carry out spraying in muncipal parks to lessen the danger but they can't always be relied upon to eliminate the pest entirely.

So be vigilant!

IN PICS: Ten photos that will make you excited about spring in Spain