Ants At Work

In life, one often tends to overlook the little things and yet, they are of the utmost importance, generally speaking. Ants, for instance.

Ants are indispensable for our ecosystems. I do not know how many of the 12,000 ant species known one can find in Mallorca, but plenty they are if one bothers to look out for them. There are more ants on our island than humans, including the 12,000,000 visiting guests that Mallorca welcomes every year. A thousand times more.

The ants shown here were of a large specimen; they were reassuringly busy as bees working away, carrying their booties. I do not know whether this particular ant belongs to the Linepithema humile species, also known as the Argentinian ant. But it may well be so, because it is said that the South American migrant ant has already exterminated up to 90 % of the autochthonous ant species.

Orhan Pamuk, 2006 Nobel Laureate for Literature, gives a great justification for his life’s work: “Words (and the works of literature they make) are like water or like ants. Nothing can penetrate into the cracks, holes, and invisible gaps of life as fast or as thoroughly as words can” (On Reading: Words or Images, essay). 

The photo was taken near Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: June 15th, 2008. The time was 16:55:29.

Ants At Work

Roman Relics in Pollentia

The history of Mallorca is shaped by five major influences over a time-span of some 3,500 years: the Talaiotic settlers (3,500 years ago), the conquering by the Romans (2,000 years ago), the influence under the Moorish settlers (1,100 years ago), the Reconquista under Jaume I (800 years ago), and finally, the peaceful influx of tourism (about 50 years ago and still going strong).

Those of you interested in remains of a vivid past on our island might want to visit the relics of Pollentia (shown here), on the outskirts of today’s Alcúdia, a Roman settlement dating back to 123 B. C., and well worth a visit. Admission fee is 2 €, including a visit to the Museu Monogràfic.

The photo was taken near Alcúdia, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: February 20th, 2008. The time was 12:28:31.

Roman Relics in Pollentia

Raimundus Lullus

Ramon Llull (also Raimundus Lullus or Raimundo Lulio) is probably one of the most important figures in Mallorcan history. I have blogged about him already, in my entry dated November 28th, 2007.

A statue in his honour greets us as we come into Palma de Mallorca from the Llucmajor motorway, past the GESA building, at the turn-off into Antoní Maura. Ramon Llull spoke Latin, Catalan and Arabic and fittingly, the statue greets us in those three languages, plus Spanish, of course.

The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: June 17th, 2008. The time was 13:36:34.

Raimundus Lullus

Mallorca and the Olympics 2008 in Beijing

Joan Llaneras, Margalida Fullana, Rudy Fernández, Rafael Nadal and Nuria Llagostera are amongst the 15 athletes that represent the Balearic Islands during the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, Beijing (China).

Joan Llaneras from Porreras (shown above) will participate in his fourth Olympics yet. He already won Gold in Sydney and Silver in Athens, and is thus Mallorca’s only athlete with two Olympic medals. Marga Fullana from Sant Llorenç des Cardassar won a Bronze medal in Sydney. Rafa Nadal attended the Athens Olympics but had to retire after one day due to a left foot injury. He wants to do well this time, in Beijing, and so he should, considering his top form this year.

Only twelve days until 08-08-08 and the Opening Ceremony.

Good luck to all 15 Balearic medal aspirants (12 from Mallorca, 2 from Menorca and one from Ibiza).

The photo (top) was borrowed from the Internet. Credit is due to AP; the photo is by Daniel Ochoa de Olza.

The Olympic Logo is Trademarked by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG). No infringement on the BOCOG’s rights is intended.

Mallorca and the Olympics 2008 in Beijing

Ginormous Giants

The Festes de Sant Jaume a Santanyí have been celebrated for the last two weeks. Two days ago, there were big fireworks exploding over Santanyí’s skies. Today, ginormous giants from 15 Mallorcan pueblos will congregate at 18h30 in Santanyí’s Plaça Canals. A must-see.

The photo was chosen from my archive. It was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: October 13th, 2007. The time was 18:29:10.

Ginormous Giants

Trinxets and Other Pocketknives

You may have seen the funny looking pocketknives that are used by every Mallorcan campesino worth his salt, and by many sassy Mallorcaholics from all major Central European destinations, including Mark from Gibraltar.

The knives do not only look intriguing, they also have very specific functions.

There are seven different models in differing shapes and specific functions for Mallorcan pocketknives. The knife shown in the photo, for instance, is used to cut bread. It is called the trinxet. There is a knife for fishermen, a knife for shepherds, one for hunters and a very special one for pruning vines.

All knives are handmade and come in various sizes. The best source, in my mind, is a small knife-making taller in Llucmajor called Ordinas. The trinxet shown above cost about 15 € with a wooden handle. There are more costly models available also with a goat horn handle finish.

The photo was chosen from my archive. It was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: January 4th, 2008. The time was 11:53:59.

Trinxets and Other Pocketknives

Rebellious Selva

I like Selva, for its setting at the foot of the Tramuntana mountains, and for a general feel of confidence that the pueblo exudes.

Selva has an air about the place that is quite distinct from your average Mallorcan sleepy town. There is a history of civil disobedience, when Selva took part in the Rebellion of the People in the 15th century, in this case, against the nearby towns people from Inca, strangling Selva’s farming community with taxes, duties and other unjust civil burdens.

Sant Llorenç (shown here) is the Esglèsia Parroquial, a very proud church sitting on an elevated position high above the town square of Selva.

The photo was taken in Selva, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: July 5th, 2008. The time was 14:16:40.

Rebellious Selva