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

It may only be mid-February but wherever you are in Spain, spring is most definitely in the air.

IN PICS: Ten photos that will make you excited about spring in Spain
Cherry trees seen from the window of a car in Aragon. Photo: Fiona Govan / The Local

Whether its almond or cherry blossom, the vibrant yellow bloom of mimosa or wild irises bursting through the wet earth, there are signs of spring wherever you turn your head. 

Take a stroll in the mountains, head to your nearest park or just look out of your window. Spring is here! 

In Madrid, this is the time of year when couples flock to the Quinta de los Molinos park (Near Suances Metro in the east of the city) to admire the groves of almond trees as they reach full bloom.

It's now warm enough to enjoy things like rowing on the lake in Madrid's Retiro park. The perfect way to enjoy the spring sunshine. 

Look out for mimosa trees which burst into bloom with their vibrant yellow fluffy blossom.






A post shared by Kate (@kate_flight) on Feb 19, 2019 at 6:08am PST


Even the ugliest tower block is transformed when spring is in the air. 

If you can catch almond blossom with a glimpse of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada in the background, like this shot captured in Granada province, then you are lucky indeed!


The terraces of inland Alicante provide stunning views…and more almond trees.

It's the perfect times to skip through an olive grove…





Ey, the spring is just around the corner!!! ???

A post shared by Podenquito Valentin & Inma (@podenco_valentin_bontempi) on Feb 19, 2019 at 5:50am PST



And it's not just about flowers. Right now, Calçots are also in season. There are a specialty in Catalonia but you can find them in Catalan restaurants across Spain duirng February and March.

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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