One of the things I love about living where we do is the fact that no two days are the same. Some times we look up at the maser behind us and see nothing, then looking a little later there are the goats or Ibex on the ledge or the eagles flying along its length hunting.
So it was no real surprise when rounding a bend on my way home I came face to face with two young goats. At first glance they looked more like young deer but as we don’t have any in our forest these were more likely the Ibex. There are around four different types of goat and the Spanish Ibex does lean more to the deer than goat in both size and colour. These two looked healthy with good coats of a chocolate colour that looked soft, with straight spiral horns although being young they were short.
I don’t know who was more surprised them or me. I got the camera out but by this time they had decided it was time to go and headed back into the forest. It is comforting to know that they are around as it means the wild boar are also here. We have not seen any for nearly 2 years but recently there have been signs they might be back. When I was tidying up the track I noticed that a ‘trail’ led from the lower field to the south field and on into other parts of the forest.
Until I moved here I was not a naturist, but the birds and animals we live with have taught us so much about the forest and the way they live. They have made us laugh, and enriched our lives that I don’t think I could not live in a city again. Where else would a robin come up to the table and peck your foot whilst you’re sitting drinking coffee to ask for a water bar so he and the other birds had some where to drink from during the very hot months. Or sit still whilst you took a couple of photographs. Or a whole load of them sit squawking outside your bedroom window because there was no water in their dish and still sit there whilst you filled it up. This is what makes the finca so perfect for writing and inspired my wife to write the poems.
We have a diverse bird ‘family’ up here, all of them different in habits and song, which makes it a wonderful place, if noisy at times. I have been thinking that we might do what a birding friend of ours Dena Rowlands ( firstname.lastname@example.org) has done. A keen birder she set herself the task of spotting 200 different birds, We are not looking for ‘outsiders’ just the birds that are living up here I think twenty is about the number so far. It would be good to know the different types and hopefully get photographs of them as well. But I have to admit that the one difficulty with that is they hide in the trees when the camera comes out, some really sneaky thought is needed here.
© Michael Douglas Bosc
Posted in About my writing, Forest Life, Our Life | Tagged birding, birds, books, catalunia, eagles, forest, gardening, mountains, national parks, spain catalunia, summer, trees, wildlife, wine | 2 Comments »
You have heard me go on about my petanca and read the blogs after the competitions, but this is something different this is a celebration of one clubs 25th anniversary. Tivissa Petanca Club was 25 years old this year, and we were invited to join them for a “black rice paella” celebration. The Petanca club is well supported by the community and the Alcalde (mayor) is always present to hand out prizes at the petanca events.
Tivissa is an old town with a long history. It is nestled beneath the La Llena massif which when viewed from the petanca courts is both fascinating and precioso. It has a lot of historical features dating back to the Iberian period and a church within a church – that is really interesting to see. It also has some of the best petanca players.
On the Saturday we arrived to find the tables decorated with flowers and set up under canopies. The chef was busy preparing the paella with – as you can see – a happy smile. There is a definite art to making a paella, and it is usually a man who is in charge of this event. There are two types of paella here a sea food one which consists of prawns, mussels, small cockles and pieces of squid. The other is a country paella, which is mainly rabbit, chicken with sometimes pieces of pork, basically any meat that is available.
The tables were set out in a long line under awnings with a red awning to show that the ajuntament is part of the club, in the middle. It was hidden slightly by one of the trees but with a little help my wife finally got the picture she wanted. (The one of Rocca and myself didn’t show it clearly enough…)
On the tables were flowers roses, lilies and daisies which came from Ramon’s garden. In between these were placed plates of meat, crisps, olives, salads and other tid bits, a real summer celebration table. Although not shown here water, lemonade and of course wine was in plentiful supply which made for a happy, relaxing meal with friends.
This is a family club where they encourage the younger members to enjoy Petanca, and before we adults got down to some serious eating the youngsters enjoyed something to eat and drink before going to play.
This is what we were waiting for Black Rice Paella. After the photographs had been taken we sat down and tucked in. Did we enjoy it? Well just look at our smiling faces……
A big thank you to our friends at Tivissa Petanca Club for making us welcome, and letting us share in their celebrations.
© Michael Douglas Bosc
We have been sitting in the garden listening to Queen and Madness whilst watching the evening sky as bits of ash fell and our nostrils were assaulted by the stench of burning brought to us on the wind.
The sky is a pinkish grey and we cannot see down the valley there is so much smoke coming our way. This fire started yesterday afternoon and the float planes were busy flying overhead to put it out. Our friends thought – as we did – that it was ‘job done’. However as the planes and choppers can’t fly at night the fire got going again. We visited our friends this afternoon, their home over looks the valley to the next mountain range where the fire is raging, but all we could see was the smoke cloud. As we sat chatting ash brought in on the wind-driven cloud began to fall which made our eyes water and me a little uneasy. My wife’s jeans were getting covered in ash so I decided it was time to go.
And this is from a distance of over 12 kilometers.
On the way home we saw some pretty awesome sights with the smoke column looking like a tornado blocking the sun. We had to do some shopping and as we were parking the choppers returned from fire fighting and did a circuit of the supermarket as they went into land. So although there are no photos of the actual fire raging – too dangerous to get near, these distance ones show the heat as you can see it rising and the clouds are red. This fire is so out of control and although on the other side of the river – where we all hope it stays – if not and it jumps the river then God help us all. Mind you it does say there will be heavy rain tomorrow we are praying.
© Michael Douglas Bosc