Storm is coming...view from Pau Pi beach in Oliva to the Montgó Mount in Denia:
Montgó is a mountain in eastern Spain which rises to 753 meters (2470 feet) at the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. It is the last spur on the Betics Mountain Range and is located in the Marina Alta region in the north of the province of Alicante between the towns of Denia and Jávea. The mountain rises dramatically from the valley floors surrounding it and dominates the skyline for miles around. Its craggy cliffs are home to some of the most unique flora and fauna in Spain. The mountain is renowned for its rock formations, cliffs, caves and natural harbours. From the Jávea side Montgó is often said to resemble the head and trunk of an elephant. The mountain can be easily reached by highway CV-736 which links Denia y Jávea, both of which are accessible via the AP-7 motorway or the N-332 national highway.
Montgó Nature Reserve
The Montgó Nature Reserve encompases 2150 hectares (5312 acres) around the mountain. It includes a coastal section that covers over 3 kilometres (1.9 miles). The Reserve contains important archaeological finds such as cave paintings, Phoenician amphoras and the remains of Iberian settlements. Because of its extraordinary wealth of flora, fauna and ecosystems the park was declared an officially protected nature reserve in 1987. The reserve runs almost parallel to the coastline, joining the coastal area via a flat area known as ‘les Planes’ which ends at Cap de San Antoni.
The mountain was formed during the Cretaceous period, some 70 million years ago, when platetechtonic processes forced the African and European continental plates upwards, creating spectacular mountainous landscapes such as that of the Montgó. Over the next few million years, strong erosion and rock slides sculpted it to the shape it has today.
The geological composition of this Nature Reserve is characterized by Cretaceous materials. On the lower parts, marl and marlaceous lime abound, while the escarpments are formed by compact limestone.
The geology and climate of the Montgó has fostered more than 650 species of flora. The primitive Mediterranean oak, which once dominated the mountain before over-exploitation by man, is still present, as is Mount Atlas Pistachio, rosemary, white hellebore, rock lavender, marine juniper and cistus.
In the higher more humid areas there are a number of endemic plants such as the Hippocrepis Valentina and the Valencian rock violet, as well as the blue Mediterranean fan palm (usually seen in the plains), the only palm species to grow wild in Europe. In addition, the Carduncellus Dianius or ‘Hierba Santa’ as it is known in Spanish, is unique and only found here and in Ibiza.
The Montgó flora also includes Kermes oak groves dotted with mastic trees and rhamnnus alaternus, as well as the Mediterranean scrub. On the summit there is red lavender and Kermes oak. These take over from the communities of holm oak which dominate the more protected areas with deeper soil.
On the cliffs of the Cap de Sant Antoni, the vegetation is characterised by plants adapted to growing in the fissures, cracks and sherves of the cliff, and able to withstand contact with salt water. In the areas closest to the sea, Marine Fennel and the everlasting flower, Helichrysum decumbens, can be found. As one moves away from the sea and the salinity decreases the valencian rock violet appears as well as cave scabius on the steeper slopes. On more level ground, diannic endemic plants can be found (the town of Denia takes its name from the cult to the roman goddess Diana) such as the valencian rock violet and also diannic pitiusic vegetation (in reference to the nearby archipelago Pitiusas) such as rock thistle and valerian can be found.
On the plain, as on the hillside, lavender and Kermes oak grow mingled with repopulated aleppo or carrasco pine and vegetation typical of unirrigated land. Shady cliffs, with their increased humidity level, isolation and inaccessibility encourage the growth of endemic plants such as valencian rock violet, Cave Scabius, Sanguisorba ancistroides, and Sarcocapnos saetabensis. On wider shelves, a community of Black Sabina and Chamaerops humilis has developed. In areas exposed to the sun, various communities of species adapted to high temperatures and scarce humidity levels are located, such as Chaenorrhinum crassifolium and Teucrium hifacense.
The marine bird life comprises the yellow-footed gull (Larus cachinnans), sandwich tern (Sterna sandvicensis) and Audouin's gull (Larus audouinii), amongst other species. The perigrine falcon and the Royal Owl live on the Montgó as well as eagles, ravens, seagulls and an abundance of other migratory birds. In the higher areas the patiamarilla gull nests and the Audouin gull hibernates along with the perdicera eagle.
In total there are eight species of birds of prey in the Montgó Natural Park which have been documented to be breeding. Four of these species are nocturnal (Eagle Owl, European Scops Owl, Tawny Owl and the Little Owl) and the other four diurnal (Goshawk, Peregrine Falcon, Kestrel and Sparrow-hawk). They feed on the many rabbits, foxes, toads, snakes, badgers, dormice, country rats, badgers, gineta, weasels and bats which share their mountain home. Although there is no concrete evidence as yet, it is probable that Buzzards, Short-toed Eagles and the Eleanora's Falcon also reproduce in the Montgó park.
Due to shortages of places to collect water, amphibians are rare, although the common toad and the corridor toad (Bufo Calamita) are still found. Reptiles are more frequent, such as the common small lizard, the ocelad lizard, the horseshoe snake, and, most exotically, the Iberian eslizón. As regards invertebrate species, there are a great number of gasteropedes communities and insects.
The first evidence of human presence on Montgó dates to the Paleolithic period some 30,000 years ago. During this period, small nomadic groups occupied the caves and hills that faced the sea in the Cap de San Antoni. The communities lived a hunter-gatherer way of life, and were able to survive thanks to rich fishing grounds, plentiful supply of animals and mild temperatures. Evidence of human presence in past millennia can be seen in the famous paintings in Migdia cave. Elsewhere on the mountain Stone-Age hand-axes and flints have been found along with Roman pottery and Muslim ceramics.
At the beginning of the 10th century the Moorish Caliph, Abd ur Rahman the Third, made a special trip from Cordoba to collect over a hundred medicinal herbs from the slopes of Montgó.
At the end of the 19th century, a high demand for raisins led to the cultivation of the Moscatel grape on its slopes. Today, these areas have been largely abandoned due to difficulty in accessibility and non-profitability. Yet some vines, which produce the sweet grape variety, mostly the Mistela of the Marina Alta, as well as some citrus products, are still grown.
Clouds are often seen forming around the peak of Montgó even when the sky is clear elsewhere. Humid air from the Mediterranean is forced up towards the summit of the Montgó, then condenses and falls as rain. Despite its dry and austere appearance, rain is common on the mountain, with peak precipitation occurring between September and November. However, during the summer there is often a long period of drought.
Climbing the Montgó
It is possible to climb to the top of Montgó from all sides. The excursion leads through numerous eco-systems: stony terrain, croplands, pine forests and scrub land. The ascent takes about four hours. At the summit of Montgó one will find the remains of the Casa de Biot, an Iberian settlement of the eighth century B.C. From the summit there are magnificent views of the coast and the sea and on a clear day, Ibiza can be seen.
Legislation Protecting the Montgó
Decree 25/87 issued on March 16, 1987 by the Consell of the Generalitat Valenciana declared the Montgó a Natural Park. This decree has since been modified by Ordinance 110/92. Law 5/88 issued on June 24, 1988 by the Generalitat Valenciana protects the nature reserves of the Province of Valencia.
Critiques | Translate
eversmile (11636) 2011-05-26 3:55
The colors are gorgeous for a very dramatic atmosphere. I like the side framing , with the line of the fence to lead our look towards the distant line of light ( it looks like a fire actually) and the contrasts between the clear sea and beach, and the threatening sky, is really fascinating. I am quite surprised, as it looks so tropical, to figure out that it is only as far as Spain! :)
dta (78544) 2011-05-26 3:59
Hola Manu ,
The light conditions that I prefer . Great contrast between the dark sky and the sandy beach . Like especailly the black hill at the horizon , on the emerald sea .
Budapestman (82620) 2011-05-26 4:07
great atmosphere, the dramatic clouds are fantastic, I like the composition and the soft lights, the POV is superb, Tfs! Have a nice day! Kellemes napot kívánok!
JFS (32459) 2011-05-26 4:23
Tremenda vista de la playa con amenaza de tormenta y sin una sola alma. El punto de vista es genial y los colores "alucinantes".
lestans (17168) 2011-05-26 5:19
Great light, very nice view in such a situation!
A lonely beach, blue-green sea.
Compliments for such a beautiful picture!
sabermonajati (11239) 2011-05-26 7:17
wonderful cloudy sky and peacful beach you captured.
froggy45 (380) 2011-05-26 7:26
wonderful dramatic skies you've captured. What I like most about the photo is the contrast between the dark sky and the sand which emits sort of soft glow. The shot is beautifully timed as it brings out the best of colours. I also like the composition with the hint of a boardwalk in the corner and the bending rope fence. TFS.
Rafer (0) 2011-05-26 10:18
Impecable compo!! muy atractiva!!!Saludos Manu-...
macjake (68458) 2011-05-26 10:42
did you get out of there in time! :)
wow, mother nature sure is powerful!
the cloud coverage really overpowers everything else in the scene, even the mountain in the bg.
i like how you've composed the scene, using the rope to guide us around.
jjcordier (79297) 2011-05-26 12:12
Trčs belle photo avec un ciel et une lumičre d'enfer. Excellente composition.
CLODO (34546) 2011-05-26 12:25
Gorgeous photographic situation, if you have a shelter close to you! dramatic sky over a quiet beach, but not for long.*Cheers
Peterl (82) 2011-05-26 13:14
great capture !!
nice clouds, impressive
Sonata11 (33863) 2011-05-26 15:17
wow!!! this is a very interesting composition and very beautiful framework as well. An amazing dramatic sky and beautiful beach .You're show us a very nice scenary but scare. Excellent job. Excellent POV. My congrats. I love it.
All the best,
npecanhuk (75502) 2011-05-26 15:30
Very interesting and attractive picture, specially for the way you photographed the contrast between the dark and threatening clouds and the other more peaceful-looking elements, with great work with colors and management of light!
Chosen pov, composition and vertical format are all excellent too!
TFS - congrats,
siamesa (28121) 2011-05-26 16:39
Boa noite Manuel
Uma beleza essas nuvens de temnpestade. Linda paisagem com cores espetaculares.
sunamoon (10) 2011-05-26 16:58
Una impresionante tormenta y cielo, me gusta mucho la profundidad, los colores son fantásticos y sobre todo ese cielo es fantástico! Buen trabajo!
sevy (58) 2011-05-27 0:30
I like this kind of photo with a strong mood thanks to the stormy and rainy sky. Moreover, you managed a balanced composition in this square frame with the rope and the shore driving the look in diagonale towards the little mountain in background.
Nard (6972) 2011-05-27 2:10
Great shot. The sky is really impressive both for the shape of clouds and for its color. That creates a strong and worried atmosphere, veru heavy. I like also the light and the color given to the sea and the contrats with the beach. I like storm light and colors and you really well captured it.
timecapturer (49288) 2011-05-27 7:13
a stunning composition with high drama in the skies. It is a wonderful image and you present it perfectly. A flawless execution and striking composition, well done!!
Have a great weekend - Brian
adramad (45994) 2011-05-27 8:14
Una gran imagen la que nos ofreces en esta preciosa composicion, el dramatismo del cielo con esa nube amenazadora resulta impresionante, parece que se sale de imaen, precioso contraste despues entre la dorada arena con el bonito color verdoso del mar.
Excelente el manejo de la luz con las farolas ya encendidas, el color esta genial. Me gusta mucho esta imagen.
Disfruta de un buen fin de semana.
danyy (0) 2011-05-27 23:49
lŕ, ça le fait !!!
J'aurais aimé ętre lŕ pour capturer ce ciel et l'ajouter ŕ ma collection. C'est splendide, nuancé et contrasté ŕ souhait, si cela n'est pas un orage !!!
Robert1969 (7160) 2011-05-31 21:53
Een foto met een heerlijke bocht erin. Oftewel: een mooie standpunt hebt je gekozen, want de foto heeft hierdoor twee dieptes verkregen (naar achteren, wanneer je het hek volgt en eentje richting de zee).
De verdeling en belichting zien er zeer verzorgd uit, wat extra de diepte, maar ook extra de sfeer versterkt.
Mini tip: let op de horizon, die loopt iets scheef.
Samengevat: mooi fotowerk.
mkamionka (37193) 2011-06-06 2:11
wonderful sky. The clouds are very well emphasized and they give the photo a true dramatic touch. Such a weather contrasts nicely with the beautiful sandy beach in the foreground.
Also the mountain on the horizon adds a point of interest here.
alex4ndru (1416) 2011-06-06 3:17
very dramatic picture, beautiful colours, this photo makes me feel like i'm in the midlle of this storm
all the best!
- Copyright: Manuel Mayorga (ManuMay) (36159)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2009-04-11
- Categories: Daily Life, Nature
- Camera: Fujifilm S6500fd, FujiFilm xD Card 2GB, Kenko Circular Polariser 58mm
- Exposure: f/2.8, 1/52 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Oliva!! [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2011-05-26 3:45