Posts Tagged ‘animals’

My Books


This year has seen my Young Persons books  Clearing in the Forest and Peaceful Land published.  These are the adventures of three orphaned (seems you are not allowed to say bastard these days. But in the Middle Ages where the story is set it was a common word used to define the ‘out of wedlock’ offspring of Kings and Nobles of the times.  The reason they were called bastards was so they could not make claim to the Kings/Nobles titles or lands although as history has proven it did not stop this).

Writing about history has brought me another string to my knowledge bow.  I have had the pleasure of meeting people who enjoy history as much as I do and in this particular area – the Middle Ages – they are a knowledgeable lot.  I had the first book given as a prize in a competition which I thought was very kind seeing as the story is a historical fantasy.  Witches, demons, spells, good v evil are all these as is the really evil Odo, demon master to the King of France.  The story is et at the end of King Johns reign and follows the adventures of John, Geoff and Ela as they fight to survive. I have been genuinely surprised at how many adults like the books so it was both a nice feeling and surprise when out shopping a lady came up to me (recognised me from my photo) and said how much she liked Clearing in the Forest and was going to buy Peaceful Land.  Now I have written many adult books and a Historical Naval adventure – A Plymouth Story – but never before has anybody actually recognised me and enthused about a book.  My wife said I fairly floated out of the store.

The Finca


I dont know if you remember the high winds we had when this happened, but needless to say I have fixed things now. We still get the high winds from time to time and we sit and listen to the supports of the panels flexing when the wind really gets up but so far so good.  Everything is repaired now still a bit of rendering to be done but that’s on the inside. I’d like to say its a wet day job but we are in the middle of a horrendous drought and rain is very little and far between, but it will get done   one day….

The Animals (Wild Boar)


Well 2017 saw my wife almost go shooting.  The wild boar made the mistake of first digging up her saffron bed (to the right of the last step) and eating most of the bulbs then destroying her ‘tyre’ garden. So I moved one of the cameras as I was not sure whether it was the goats or wild boar, I should have known. These were the result a sort of caught in the act animal version.  But somehow she decided that hunting them was not for her.  So she salvaged what bulbs she could and replanted them.  Then turned her attention to the tyre, here they had eaten the tulip bulbs so she tidied them up and planted iris and lily bulbs, but no tulips.  You know when she saw what they had done to the little tyre garden that was the first time I had seen the animals make her cry.  But as she said this is a garden in a forest and unless we wall ourselves in this will happen and we are not wall people.

The Goats

Then came the day I could hear banging noises like a rock being hit by a large hammer. Then I looked at the masa and saw these.

The Eagles


These are the big ‘quackers’ we hear in the forest now and then.  The old adage if it looks like an eagle, flies like an eagle and quacks like a duck then….its an EAGLE!!

Well that’s a few of my 2017 memories, things that stay in my mind because they are, to me, wonderful.  The animals and birds are part of our life and some things seem like yesterday. So from Puddytat, the Boys and ourselves here’s hoping you have a happy, safe and gentle 2018.

rgds  Michael

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc – Author







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I had been promising my wife we would take a trip to the Delta to try for some photographs of birds and other things for a story I’m writing. So when we woke and found that although very windy the sun was shining and it was warm we decided to go. On the way we passed through an avenue of  Beech trees, it is, in my opinion, a typical continental thing. When they are in leaf  it looks very pretty.  We should have had a warning of what was to come as there were bits of tree’s in the road.  Further on as we neared one of the roundabouts the police were directing all the lorries into a side parking area, ah we thought they are doing a road inspection wrong…  Approaching  the road to go round Amposta, we found the traffic slowing, police and workmen were by the bridge that crosses it and there at the side of the road was the direction sign from the bridge – wind had blown it over the safety rail and down onto the road. 

Avenue of Beech Trees

The drive down there is pleasant. You follow the river Ebro to Tortosa, then on through some of the rice-growing finca’s untill turning right on to the road round Amposta. After this you travel the N340 to St Carles de la Rapita. This is a pleasant little seaside town with a marina, good beaches and some nice restaurants and bars.  We have a favourite Tapas bar and beach bar. So looking for a coffee we headed first to the beach bar which was shut and had also had some slight wind damage. So after watching the men cutting up the tree that had been blown over, we turned and headed along the water front to the Tapas bar, passing the marina and its occupants.

Go Find Your Own Bar


At the bar we had Patatas Bravas, Calamari Romanos, sausage’s, spiced and prawns.  Then we drove out to the Delta and the sea. The route we took was an arc, taking pictures as we went.  Driving along we saw the tractor that is used to plough the rice fields a strange contraption, a sort of military vehicle with slatted  wheels. But it travels over the paddy fields with no problem unlike a normal tractor which would soon get bogged down.  

Rice Tractor

My wife spent a lot of time trying to get a close up of a Marsh Harrier much to our glee it proved to be a real task.  When she crept towards it waited until she was close enough to get a good shot then took off, again and again.  She did get a few distance ones but not close up.

Marsh Harrier


We then came across  this water-mill. Instead of a windmill with sails to pump the water these are in the form of an Archimedes Screw, which pumps the water round the water beds and ditches.  With the little house painted white,  they are both cared for and in working order. It sits on the bank near to an observation hide where you can watch the various birds on the marshes.

Archimedes Screw

The wild life was fascinating.  The shots of waders, flamingos, ducks, heron and seagull were taken from the viewing hut. Several more were taken as we drove back towards the main road, so all in all it was a success.  I even managed to get a shot of the long-horned cattle that graze there.

You Really Wanted a Seagull


 All in all it was a pleasant if windy day.  The Sun was out it was warm 17c and relaxing. So when we reached the N340 we found the wind had picked up a little.  Well, that was an understatement, it had picked up a lot and we had not gone far when approaching a bridge saw just how much.  There on their side were two lorries, a small one and an articulated one. The articulated lorry was on the barrier of the bridge with its window screen smashed from the outside so I suppose they had to get the driver out that way.  I really hope he was ok.  We finished the journey on the flat using the El Perello pass, seeing all the windmills feathered against the wind.   

This brought home just how powerful nature is.

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I was writing a blog, enjoying having the house to myself (my wife had gone to a carboot sale) when the phone rang.  The horse blessing is on I’ll come and get you.  So one scrabbled change of clothes,  ok I got dressed,  the car arrived and we set off. 

Now this horse blessing takes place every year in one of the local towns and we never miss it.   We arrived after it had been going for around 15mins so missed the first few carts and carriages, but got them on the next run round the town.  There are carts with huge wine barrels hung on them pulled by three or four horses all decked out in brass and pom poms. They parade round the streets finally ending up by the church where the priest blesses the horses. 

Having seen this before we wandered off from the square looking for the chance to get some static pictures. These are the results and the Ambulance? well they follow the parade just in case and I think they deserve to be in here after all they are horsepowered…. 

Hope you enjoy these.

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By Moonlight

It is dark and quiet the dead of night

I’m walking round in soft moonlight

A tasty rabbit I’ll have for my tea

As long as it does not sense me

I fear nothing as I am big

But even I will not tackle a pig

I pass close to the humans house

But go as quietly as a mouse

I saw them looking at the track

So when they’d gone I crept back

My paw print they saw big and flat

So now they know I am a cat

I don’t harm them they don’t harm me

Together we live in the forest free

But night-time is my time to roam 

And their time to stay near their home

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Surveying my domain

It is that time of year again, and yesterday when I was scanning the mesa I saw a billy goat with two nanny goats standing on the rocks looking out over the valley. Whilst the females fed and wandered along the cliff edge the billy stayed on guard looking out over the valley.  At this time of year they begin to gather their herds together and get ready for the rutting. They range over these hills and mountains sometimes venturing down into our valley, this is when we begin to see more of them.  The horns on this one are not as grand as I have seen so I think he must be a young goat, just starting out.  I have been told by the Forestalls that there are three different types of goat on the mesa, we usually see the Ibex.

Mountains and Valley's


At this time of the year they also venture down into the valley in search of food. In England you might find deer antlers in the parks and forests where they roam. Here, if you are very lucky, you will find goat horns. We found one on the track last year, so I took it home, cleaned it up and it is now on the end of my walking staff, just like Moses.

At night we hear noises in the forest, may be some wild boar rooting around  or perhaps a marauding goat or two, but because they are so shy we do not see them.  However the summer is coming and we have been told it will be a dry one, the last dry one brought lots of animals down looking for water so perhaps we will have another magical evening. 

In the meantime I am taking care with my apple trees as last year the goats were eating the apples whilst they were on the trees. The trees by the way are young and about 5ft high, but as we have seen, goats can not only climb but stand on their hind legs.

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