Tribute to Las Pitas


Adios, Las Pitas. Photo from 2011

We have always associated Las Pitas with the landscape   of the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata.


On the estepa with Bornos in the distance. Winter 2011

Because they are not endemic to Andalucia there was talk of them being eradicated by conservationists.


Cortijo de los Frailes. January 2012

Instead an invasion of black picudos, a small beetle, has invaded the Parque and is rapidly killing them off.


Pitas shooting up their stalks, Genoveses . Spring 2012

We have compiled a selection of photos from our library, taken over the last five years, as a tribute  to the pitas (agave).


Pitas against a tormy sea. Winter 2012

At least we have recorded their memory.


Pita and full moon. June 2013

Pitas always made striking images in sillhuette  into the light.


The dunes behind Monsul. Winter 2014

When pitas died, young shoots would fall off the old stalks and root themselves in the ground around.


Pitas in flower, Las Hortichuelas. Summer 2015

Pitas in flower added bright yellow colour to the summer landscape. We have not seen this in 2016.


Los Genoveses. October 2016

You cannot tell from this photo but most of the plants here have been infected and are dying.


Ruin and pitas above Agua Amarga. Spring 2016

With the eradication of the chumberos (prickly pear) by the red, cochinella beetle the loss of these two plants will completely change the landscape of the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata.



About Margaret Merry

I grew up in Falmouth, Cornwall, England where, after leaving Falmouth High School, I spent a year at Falmouth School of Art. Then followed three years at Hornsey College of Art in London where I obtained a Diploma in Art and Design. I then spent a post-graduate year at the West of England College of Art in Bristol where I gained an Art Teacher?s Diploma and a Certificate in Education of the University of Bristol. I lived and worked in Truro for over 30 years and became one of Cornwall's most popular artists. My paintings have been exhibited in New York, Tokyo, Paris and London and have been bought by collectors from all over the world. I have published 4 books which became local bestsellers - 'The Natural History of a Westcountry City', 'Margaret Merry's Cornish Garden Sketchbook', 'Sea & Sail' and 'Tidal Reaches'. In 2002 I moved to Spain and now live pn a small farmer the town of Alhabia in the Alpujarra Almeriense in the Province of Almeria. I now get my inspiration from the dramatic scenery of Andalucia and its old cities, towns and villages which I usually capture in watercolour. I also enjoy portraiture and figurative art, particularly nudes and dancers. For these paintings I use artists' soft pastels. I have written and illustrated 3 children's books - The Wise Old Boar, The Lonely Digger and The Adventure of Princess The Pony - which have been published in the USA.
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One Response to Tribute to Las Pitas

  1. Maureen says:

    Very sad, they are such strikingly beautiful plants. The death of these plants is very disturbing.
    Isn’t there a pesticide that could control or eradicate the pests?

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