Posts Tagged ‘forest dwellers’

Some You Win – Some You Loose

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This is Bazz the goat who adopted us. As you can see he was not well very skinny turned out he had phunomia and after three days during which time we tried to find out who owned him, he died.  Seems there are a few goat herds about but eventually the Department of Agriculture found his owner and informed him we had his goat.  He was due to turn up mid afternoon on the third day but by that time Bazz had expired, so he took away a pathetic little bundle, so sad.   However, during his time here he decided that the shed was his best resting place and my garden was good for munching.  Lemon tree, vine, almond tree and lavender as well as rosemary and thyme he tried them all and drank vast amounts of water. But we have some good memories of him, shouts of leave the lemon tree alone, don’t eat the roses and get out of the tree to name but some.  He wandered around and even tried to get into the FFZ, the only thing wrong was the smell and flies.  Goats poo a lot and it smells, so had to go round and collect it from in front of the house garden did well though.  Anyway here are a couple of photos of Bazz doing goatish things to the lavender patch.

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The Boys and Daughter

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Well who would have thought it, these two hooligans have fallen in love with our daughter. She was over for a few weeks to rest and relax spending most of her time in the fly free zone with the boys for company whilst getting the benefits of the sun without burning.  They had her full attention and just loved it, she took over my ‘office’ and they made the most of things.  Shouting, playing, making sure they had the full attention of their audience.

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She had bought with her some toys after reading about their antics, palm balls, a weeble with a bell, plus a couple of other bits and was in stitches watching them destroy  the palm ball – these birds use palm leaves in the wild to line their nests – which meant they tossed out all the stuff in the nesting box then replaced it with the palm which they had chewed to soften, stripped into small pieces then lined their nest with.  So you can imagine how upset they were when she went home.  However, she sent them a new ladder made of wood and string so we strung it hammock style they now sit on it so we are now betting on how long it will take them to destroy it before Michael has to thread the wood with either wire or thin rope.  And yes they really are love birds bless……


Michael’s Hand Update

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As you may or may not know Michael has had an operation on his hand to remove a cyst.  The picture above is just after I got him home from the hospital. He was still under the effects of the anesthetic and insisted on showing the boys his and I quote “writers war wound” yep that’s what he told them.   However over the next few days he came down to earth as his hand came back to life and the pain set in.  Then it was a round of hospital visits until yesterday when he finally had the last stitches removed, now all I have to do is stop him from doing things that could open the wound such as chain-sawing… no not really but you get the idea.   The wound is healing nicely, but he still can’t play the piano….

The Garden



This is not a picture of the garden as it is now, it’s too dire.  The lack of water – rain – has meant that everything has dried up and the place looks horrid.  But it allows me to clear away some of the dross and where I have done so the beds look well. HOWEVER!!!  although most of the plants are drought resistant even they are suffering so a water plan has been devised for next summer based on the one we have for the walnut tree. As for Sam’s garden, (picture) I have trimmed the olive tree of all the offshoots cleared the weeds and prepared the ground where the yellow bulbs are.  At this end where the pink and red ones are I have a few bits still to do and also make a support for the yellow flowers above the strawberry patch.   The green water tank will have to be put to another use elsewhere in the garden as  the Water Bar was not used this year, but at least we were not bothered by wasps. It is almost time for the olives to be picked so a trip to the presses for the residue which is used as fertilizer is in order.  The roses all need a good feed and also a tidying up so am looking for a few tiles to go round the base of them  to keep the ground moist either that or I shall dig a circle cover the ground with polythene recover with soil in the hope they will not suffer so much next summer.

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Well that’s the forest news for this week,  Michael is still writing and Clearing in the Forest is now out in paperback form from Create a Space and on Kindle.


(c) M.D.Bosc Author










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006 (640x480)[1]It’s been a couple of action filled weeks for us so I will start at the beginning, so grab yourself a coffee and I’ll tell you of the drama that unfolded that first Monday – oh and please forgive me if I chuckle a little things always seem funnier after the event and as no one was hurt well………


Monday arrived bright, sunny and warm.  So I thought we might as well go to the seaside and do the shopping on the way home.  Mrs B always enthusiastic for a trip to the seaside was up housework done and ready before I could turn round. So off we set around midday calling first at the hairdressers for her to make an appointment then off to Hospitalet.  We like it here, nice sandy beaches long and wide plenty of space, however today we had the beach to ourselves. After a short stroll along the water’s edge we went for coffee at El Pescador  the seafood bar/restaurant that faces the sea, sat in the shade and read the ‘menu de dia’  decided that it was very good and we would come back on Friday. However things decided – as they do – to conspire against us so it was Monday when we finally went it was well worth the visit.

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We had just reached the Club Nautique when a large rock fell into the road narrowly missing 5 ladies and their dog.  There were workmen placing netting then wire mesh over the cliff face and somehow a rock had been dislodged. Needless to say the ladies told the men what they thought of this  then walked off. We were behind them in the car so could not pass as the road was blocked, so I turned off the engine and we sat and watched as they tried to move it bending a very large crowbar in the process.  Finally they managed to break it into small pieces clear the road and we went home. Phew a few minutes earlier and I dread to think what could have happened.

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Next thing to happen was the weather turned and we actually got snow!  Now please take a look at the first picture and that tree. Not very big you might think but believe me it was a tenacious beast.  I was clearing the rock face of scrub to make a fire break so had cleared round the roots which made it lean this I assumed would need one really good blast from the wind to bring it down not on your life!  We are not allowed to cut the trees down but if they fall down that’s ok,  so for a week we watched and waited for the event. The wind came howled and gusted not a movement then one morning a small puff of wind and down it came, sods law or what.  Now after all this time I wanted to make sure it really was down so taking a pickaxe I went to inspect boy what a hole and some large rocks so the wife is pleased as she can now make her wall round the rose garden double thick then the goats/wild boar wont be able to knock it over.

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Our first foray of the season into petanca began with a ‘clotcha’ breakfast at the club and the AGM.  First picture is of the cooks, last picture is of the setting and the others the rest of us enjoying breakfast and very good company. We had such a laugh and the games after were really fun even though they were as always serious.

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This is Sam, my wife’s little stalker, gardening friend and all-round bossy little sod.  He was part of our life for weeks then one afternoon we arrived home from town to find him lying on his back feet in the air dead. I didn’t think I would be affected by something so small but I was, my wife wandered around for days like a lost soul even the other birds were quiet for a couple of days.  We will and do miss Sam he will not be forgotten.  R.I.P. little Sam.

Right that’s enough for this piece of news. I have started on the next one which also has some more events.

©Michael Douglas Bosc





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Well its nearly a month since I last wrote the news, needless to say a few things have happened so I will start with us oldies.

A Touch of Food Poisoning!!!

As I might have told you, we have been under the weather with the flu, and as it was pointed out to me yesterday it is around a month since I was last out and about. Oh I know we have been here and there for the odd bit but I am talking a full day.  So as it was raining (more on that later) and we were feeling a lot better, I decided that a trip to Tarragona for a mooch round was on the cards.  We set off around 11ish arriving in the city before midday and having parked in the underground car park  wandered up top to find it was market day so one happy lady had a mooch round whilst I went to the bank – can’t eat without money.

But before we ate we wandered round some of the side streets where little shops were tucked away alongside small supermarkets, as we made our way towards the sea.  You can’t actually get to the sea from this part of town but we had a scenic view of the port, railway station and beach beyond.  Even though it had been raining and the sun was now out the day was turning pleasant.

Then the wife decided she was hungry so we wandered round till we found a bar that looked ok and went in.  It appeared clean but there weren’t many people there, we should have known.  We both decided on spaghetti bolognaise followed by French fries with thin slices of chicken and a cream pudding with cream.  so far so good, but this morning my wife could hardly stand without being dizzy and I just didn’t want to get up, neither of us are feeling well just now, so don’t think we will be going there again  no wonder it was tucked down a side street, UGH….

So now to the rest of the events which I must warn you will dissolve into a ramble:

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The forest has been fairly quiet during the day the birds are back in the singing tree calling for mates, and I have threatened the cawing Magpies with a shotgun I do not have, but as they don’t wait around to find that out, the threat works.  At night however the toads are singing their hearts out so it must be mating time, add to this the owls hooting away or screeching – we have both up here – it is not exactly quiet, but sitting out in the FF zone watching the stars with a cuppa makes up for everything.  Then early the other morning my wife heard what she thought were stones falling however no walls were down but she did spy two small boar going up the slope and their piggy prints were round the water bar so we know they visited.  However, when I went for a stroll round I found that an old pot I had placed on the wall near the BBQ had been knocked down so we assume this was the noise she heard and it was probably an owl, definitely need a camera there.  Last night we were enjoying a Sunday evening of tv when there was such a noise outside as though something had fallen from the roof.  Up we got looked around but could see nothing, the generator house was ok, as was the roof of the little house, and other things we looked at no idea what it was.  This morning I was up and about early looking at the mesa to see if part of that had fallen but all seemed in tact, so rumblings in the forest……..


Gardening Forest Style

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Now for the garden. My wife has finished the first part of another rose garden and planted some violas she bought when we were in one of the local markets. She also bought me two variegated shrubs which I have planted round the side of the house near the lilac tree, here they get both shade and sun and some protection from frost. did not quite work out and it became – after loosing a wall – the wood shed.

Some time ago I decided to build an above ground ‘balsa’ to hold the water but it didn’t work so minus one wall it has become the wood shed.  as you can see I had built some blocks into the wall which stuck out the idea being they would be for pots and perhaps make the blank wall look colourful. Then we decided to make a garden in front of it so I planted the Yuccas there to hide the wall with a lemon geranium in the middle and in between these ground covering violets – we have lots of them – and two plants that have white bell-shaped flowers and self seed by shooting their seeds out. We have just finished building the small stone wall to protect it from the car, tractor etc.


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Since it’s rained the bulbs are coming up and this morning we discovered the saffron crocus are well on the way plus one early one gave us the first saffron of the year which is now in the drying tray.  The bed my wife planted is now covered in blue saffron crocus and has provided us with a good crop and there are still more to come paellas will be tasty next year.  The butternuts are doing well but nearing the end of the crop, however we have plenty to go till next year.  The beans are going along nicely but the potatoes didn’t amount to anything but there are onions down there.  The wild rose that grows in front of the septic tank is strong and healthy, and the other roses in the garden are not only recovering from the wasp attacks but grown new leaves and are in bud.  Violets are out and the anemones my wife planted are above the ground along with the other bulbs. As I have said before the seasons here are totally different to the UK.

I have also replanted the strawberries so that they are spread out more and they are not only flowering but have fruit on them.  I am getting on well with taking the top off the old cisterna the earth is being used to give some depth of soil to the new gardens and the stones to make the walls.   As I am writing someone is attacking the olive tree shoots with the secateurs, not liking the sound of this as it usually means something else is being planned ie., more garden walls……

Then one evening I had a call from our Petanca President asking if we were ok as no one had seen us since the BBQ.  So after explaining about our flu he suggested we went along on Saturday for a few games and supper, so I accepted after all what better way to spend a Saturday than playing petanca with friends and then enjoying a typical evening meal, neither of us can think of one.   We arrived around 3.30pm to find everyone there and that a few like us had been suffering.  Then we spent an afternoon in the sun after which we all sat down to eat.  Fresh bread, tomato’s, sliced dried ham, olive oil, olives and crisps.  What you do is this: First you cut the tomato in half, then you rub it over a slice of bread, next drizzle olive oil over that then place slices of ham on top eat and come again yummmmm.   After that we had hazel nuts with wafer biscuits filled with hazelnut cream, and coffee.   Along with the meal was a very decent red wine (see our wine blogs asoldierswind.wordpress.com) Pepsi and water.

So that I think will do for this new,  Tuesday the 21st of October was our birthday and we had one of our outings, so that and the Agricola Fira  will be for the next one.

© Michael Douglas Bosc





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I suppose that change – if it comes gradually – is a good thing, well it is here.  This photograph was taken years ago and the only thing to have changed here is we’ve got rid of the swing seat and where the small tractor is there are now two small ‘art’ works.  Ok not the types of sculpture that people normally have in their gardens but this is a forest olive finca and this is the easiest way of dealing with the odd bits and pieces that abound on farms.



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It’s a simple idea really, by simply taking the ‘bits of this and that’ lying around and turning them into objects of ‘art’ we have not only tidied up the farm but given a bare space character.  By making use of the old pump and sat- dish in this way my wife has given a depth to the lilies, iris and flags – the flags grow wild up here – along the edge of the terrace giving it a natural look so that in a few years it will look as though it has all been there for ever.  I have a few more bits and pieces to get rid of so at least a couple more plinths will go up.



I am pleased to say the garden is beginning to take shape, which between our ideas is no mean feat.  I put these steps in so that we can climb up to the cacti garden with out slipping on the slope and breaking bones.  My wife has planted bulbs – these are the only things that really survive up here without loads of water – along the sides so in the spring there is a show of dwarf tulips, wild daffs and other small growing bulbs.  She has moved her saffron garden to that side where there is more room.  It may not seem much but I can say that paella made with saffron is something mmm…..


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The next project was to build a small wall defining the rose garden from the farm and forest.  She made a good job of the wall – which took her ages – but this morning we found that during the night the pigs had managed to knock part of it down – the bit in front of the water bottles.  Hey ho that’s what its like up here, no shouting just a determination to teach the little sods to jump……



But to the main characters of life here.   It is always a pleasure to sit and watch the birds flying back and forth to their water bar, seeing the different characters returning, recognising their calls, getting shouted at in the early morning because there is no water in their dish, such are the pleasures of forest living.   But one of the main delights is watching the Golden Eagles as they fly along the mesa.   It was one of these giants sitting on a tree stump on the mesa that caught my eye one morning.  I was dismantling the top of the old cisterna and when I took a break  I looked up at the skyline. As I moved my view along the mesa I could see what I thought was either a person or animal moving.  So my wife got the binoculars out for a closer look. At first she thought she was looking at a tree stump then found she was looking at the turning head of an Eagle.  As we watched it’s mate flew along the front of the mesa and next minuet the ‘tree stump’ took off to glide majestically after its mate.   We do not have a camera that can give us close shots over this distance but our birthdays, anniversary and Christmas approach so we might just treat ourselves.


©  Michael Douglas Bosc



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Well they say good things come in three’s and yesterday was no exception. The first came when I opened up my mail and found a note from Kindle I can afford to buy a coffee this week.

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The second? well that was an important discovery or a problem depending on which way it’s looked at. Yesterday it rained! not heavy but just enough to water the plants, dampen the ground and make my wall building go in fits and starts. Anyway, there I was standing in the kitchen looking out at the forest past the ‘Little House’ when a movement caught my eye. I was sure I had seen a bird or something go into the wall (hence could be problem), so I stood there cuppa in hand and waited. Yes sure enough it was a bird. Not just any bird, but Dangerous Dan McGrew punk crest included, now I know spring has arrived.  As I watched I began to define him and Mrs McG as they came and went to the nest. Every now and then Dan would perch on the wire that leads to the wind genny look around then fly to the wall so all that could be seen was his backside.

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So I called my wife, she was so excited that Dan had ‘moved in next door’ that out came the camera and these pictures are the result. I know they are a little hazy but they were taken from the kitchen through the anti Sid netting so all in all not bad. Mind you, she is convinced that Dan is camera-shy as there seem to be more of Mrs McG. We are not sure whether because of being busy they are building or there are chicks as it looks like there’s a worm in her beak.

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Now it has taken her a while but at last we think this ia a picture of Dan and we are hoping that this will be a regular yearly occurrence. So once the winter comes again I will have to make sure that the back wall is in good condition and not being invaded by the bird developers.

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As for the ‘Wall Walker’ we have not as yet seen him, but I have seen that Hissing Sid. I was going out to start my building the other day and there he was as bold as brass sunbathing in front of the flowerpots by the front door.  Now normally I say ‘live and let live’ but an adder is an adder and he has had a bite at my wife plus he was too close to the house for comfort and safety. So I picked up a length of metal and went to ‘see him off’, but he must have sensed me coming and whizzed off, nasty little git.  He has obviously forgotten his agreement with the gang – to stay in the forest not near the house or else…- really must have a word with Bobbin about it.

Living here has its good and bad sides Sid and the odd scorpion are the bad side Bobbin, Dan, Boris and the rest are the good side. Add to that the views from the windows and patio and well its a writers paradise.

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And this picture? well that’s another story. Oh and I almost forgot the third thing that happened was Vincent Dignan has placed me on his list of superb-authors.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

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