Our olive grove is on a steep slope.
So steep that it’s difficult to walk on and I tend to go down it on my bum (hmmm).
But now it seems land could tilt any which way, because of the earthquakes.
I’ve seen helicopter photos of the mountains near Castelluccio with great cracks running through them.
Last night, at about 1.40 am when we were on the point of going to bed, there was a great jolt like when a vehicle slams its brakes on. That one was 4.8 on the Richter scale and nearer than any of the others.
Swallows throng above the olive grove, hunting through the clouds of insects.
This evening Galileo was wearing himself to a frazzle chasing them as they dipped low. In the end I had to shut him in.
The swallow in the photo, which looks rather like a fillet of plaice, was the best I could manage and does at least show the grace of the wings and tail.
I took this photograph of a corner of the olive grove before the rain started.
It certainly wouldn’t be pleasant today to lie in the grass among red clover, tasselled hyacinths, wild thyme and bee orchids.
The ground in the orchard which we planted began as bare soil, populated at first by the growth of its inherent seeds.
After a few years these wild anemones arrived, blown in on the wind from the olive grove where they’re well established.
Field marigolds grew in abundance in the olive grove of our first house in Italy.
Here, despite there being a profusion of other kinds of wild flower, I’ve never been able to find any.
Until today, when I was out doing my snail-pace spraying of the fruit trees and spotted half a dozen miniature yellow suns.
I don’t know how they got there. Maybe seeds blew in on the wind, or dormant seeds sprouted from the cow manure we introduced.
But there’s something magical about them having turned up under a gooseberry bush!
The neighbour who looks after our olive grove has reported we have a hornets’ nest in the trunk of one of the largest trees with the heaviest crop. His directions were a bit vague, but I managed to locate it.
The nest structure itself is clearly visible in the hollow and there’s a great deal of coming and going.
We’re plotting its destruction, at night, with a powerful spray – a sort of SAS raid.
A few Scottish-type thistles like this one stand bold by the edge of the olive grove.
They’re way taller than I am: I had to look up to take the photo.
I wouldn’t want too many of them because they can rather dominate.
But they do look splendid against a backdrop of ancient, rounded blue mountains.