Posts Tagged ‘woodland’

On the deer path

February 13, 2013 Leave a comment


The dogs, including Galileo, suddenly went mental this morning, barking and whining with frustration at the patio door.

I just caught a glimpse of what I thought at first was a long-legged black dog right by the house.

“There’s a hunt on and they haven’t told us!” I wailed to Clive. I have an arrangement whereby I’m given advance warning of a boar hunt on our land.

The dogs continued to bark and jump at the window so I followed their line of sight.

Threading up the hillside towards the woodland at the top were three fallow deer, their white rumps flashing as they bounced up and down.

They were following the well-beaten path which I’d always assumed had been made by our dogs.

Perhaps we’re not so important in the shaping of things here after all.

Contrasts in the weather

November 1, 2012 2 comments

View from the window today

This view from the window epitomises weather which is  typical of much of the year.

In the far distance the tops of the mountains are blurred away by mist, rather like snow on Mount Fuji.

In the middle distance, the slopes are lit so brightly by gleamy sunshine that the woodland looks more like meadows.

In the foreground the roses are still beautiful if somewhat windblown.

Winter here is hard, but we’re never long without winged days of colour to lift the spirits.

Monster log

September 15, 2012 Leave a comment

I’m calling it a monster log not so much because of its size, although it’s pretty big, but because of Kepler’s reaction to it.

This morning I heard him barking and barking at something so I went to investigate, and there was a sizeable log lying across our drive.

I guess it must have dislodged itself in the woodland above, perhaps some way up, and crashed down through the undergrowth before reaching its resting place.

No wonder Kepler was startled; he probably thought it was alive. He calmed down when I went up to it and rolled it, with some difficulty, under the strawberry tree so it wouldn’t be in the way of the car.

The log, now tucked under the strawberry tree

Just as I finished, presumably entirely by coincidence, 3 hunters came along the drive, 2 of them dressed in camouflage gear and in a car, and the third on foot. The one on foot told me they plan to hunt hares across our land tomorrow afternoon and could I therefore keep our dogs in.

I pointed Kepler out to him, asking him to please recognise him and be aware of him because it’s not always possible to get him to come in. I’m not sure he paid much attention, but he did say something interesting, which is that our neighbour (the one with the maremmano, Joules’ girlfriend) refuses to co-operate with the request to confine his dogs, saying he has nowhere to put them. Strange. Probably some form of rural politics.


June 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Mowing the path between the olive grove and the orchard

Our neighbour Angelo is at this very moment mowing the olive grove, singing his head off above the noise of the tractor.

He looks after the grove in exchange for all the oil (bar a very small amount for us). This year I had to remind him twice about mowing.

When he came to view the situation last Saturday, with his little grandson in tow, he first of all asked if we would make a contribution to the diesel, the cost of which last year (just for mowing)had apparently exceeded the revenue from the oil.

Then he asked if he could cut a piece of our woodland in exchange for his work. This certainly wasn’t the agreement.

He pointed out that we didn’t need olive oil because we cook with sunflower oil. I told him we use it as medicine for us and the dogs, which is true (also sometimes for cooking).

He dropped hints about us forking out for fertiliser, etc, etc.

I said he should look at the flowers on the olive trees and decide whether he wanted the harvest or not. In the end he said he would have it this year, and then see after that.

Anyway, Angelo and his hot-breathed tractor are here now, despatching all the wild flowers. I did at least manage to save a small triangular sliver where there are lots of orchids including lizard orchids which I hadn’t even noticed were there.

The drive

April 2, 2012 Leave a comment

The top of the drive

The photo is of the top of our drive before it dips down to run past the piece of woodland (on the left) belonging to the Church. The house is behind us, a little way back.

The woodland was dark and mysterious until very recently when it was ‘harvested’. Some of the stacks of wood jut out where you have to drive, which is quite annoying as you need to do a slalem round them.

In the foreground on the right is one of the apple trees which was already there when we bought the house. Just beyond it is a little clump of grape vines that re-sprouted after the drive was widened.

On the left are the oleanders which we planted between the lamp posts we’d installed.

It was essential to widen the drive. Only now, 4 years later, are we beginning to outgrow the prejudice which had accumulated about the house. Couriers refused to come; the Council rubbish lorry complained; deliverers of building materials, garden items or pellets for the stove were wary; the GPL company tried to insist on using a smaller lorry which didn’t go out much so you had to wait ten times as long for your delivery, etc, etc.

When these various people did come, they were always very complimentary about how easy it was to access us. The problem was getting them to believe us!