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Posts Tagged ‘truffles’

House arrest

January 17, 2013 Leave a comment
Galileo in a patch of sun

Galileo in a patch of sun

Galileo spent the last 9 years of his life under house arrest at the decree of the Inquisition.

All in all, I don’t think house arrest can have been that terrible, particularly if there were 360 degree views from the house and he was allowed to sit in the garden.

He would almost certainly have been excused from going shopping which, if he’d been anything like me, would have been a great boon.

Our little Galileo Galilei (to accord him the full name of the famous scientist) is finding the house gives him ample scope for exploring.

He has truffle-hunting in his ancestry, apparently, and often seems to be looking for truffles in the most unlikely places, working his way over the floor like Dougall from ‘The Magic Roundabout’.

In the photo, he’s found himself a nice little spot in the sun.

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Looking for a new puppy

January 11, 2013 2 comments

In the belief that a spare food bowl should have a nose in it as soon as possible, we’ve started casting our eyes around for a new puppy to replace Kepler.

Our preference is for a female – under advice, as being less likely to wander – and we would ideally like a spinone or spinone cross.

A spinone is an Italian breed, often used for hunting woodcocks or finding truffles, but they’re intelligent, playful and affectionate.

According to one local breeder, they’re the only breed of dog which looks at you like a human does!

Taylor has a lot of spinone in him, we believe. This is what he looked like when he first came to us as an abandoned puppy.

Taylor when he first came to us

Taylor when he first came to us

But the most important thing about any new dog we take on is that he or she fits into the family.

Mysterious hole

January 21, 2012 Leave a comment

On a walk with the dogs today to an area of steep hillside near the house where I rarely go, I came across a hole.

The mysterious hole

It didn’t immediately strike me as being an animal’s den because its main thrust, so to speak, was vertically down rather than horizontally into the bank.

I had a walking stick with me and I prodded into the dead leaves at the bottom: it didn’t seem to go anywhere.

The strange thing was that, just before finding the hole, I’d noticed, as if marking out its location, 4 saplings snapped off near the top with the broken part left dangling. This was no coincidence and definitely the work of a human.

So what was some surreptitious hunter signposting, either for his own purposes or those of someone else?

Did it mean that the hole itself was the work of a human and if so, what could it possibly be for? Hiding-place for contraband? Wine cooler?

Alternatively, it might have been made by an animal, and the hunter had left signs so he could find it again.

It could have been dug by a wild boar. The pits they scraped in the vegetable garden looking for truffles were deep and neat. But their visit was characterised by multiple holes: in fact they fair honeycombed the ground. This was just one hole.

Porcupines dig burrows, but they would have gone deeper. They also sleep during daylight hours in tunnels of bent grasses, but this was far too laboured to be a casual resting-place.

I’m mighty puzzled.