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Posts Tagged ‘wild boar’

Looks peaceful doesn’t it, bulls grazing their way across a clearing, sun lighting the clearing casting shadows here and there, the idyllic forest scene.  Ummm well think again!  Every scene they say tells a story, this is about three children in the middle ages full of adventure and history. With magic, battles between good and evil giants and English history it goes along at a good pace.  However,  the one I am about to tell you is of crafty, naughty, greedy piggy wigs who could well end up as saffron flavoured bacon.

Once upon a time in a forest lived a writer and his wife.  Now when they retired they bought this little olive farm in the mountains because it was quiet and just right for the author to write.  Here he could sit at his desk and look out of the window watching and listening to the birds singing whilst he wrote away.   His wife a poetess also had a desk but it was in the kitchen so she could scribble away whilst pottering around without disturbing her husband.  She liked her gardening and built various flower beds to define where the house area and the farm/forest divided.  Over the years she planted various plants but only the drought hardy ones could survive the hot summers, so she decided that bulbs were the answer.

 Tulips, daffs, iris, and such were duly planted out in beds and over the years the little saffron bed she had created flourished lots of flowers providing lots of saffron.  Then one morning………disaster!

They were going into town and as the author went to get the car out he noticed the saffron bed had been dug up. Not only that but the bulbs his wife had planted down the side of the steps leading up onto the cacti garden were gone as well.  Now he knew this would upset his wife so he got the car out then went to tell her.  Boy was she mad…….so shopping that day consisted of more bulbs, but there was more to come.  As they drove out of the drive they noticed the corner of a terrace wall was completely destroyed.  This was not good, as two days later after sneaking off to inspect the finca in between writing the author did his back in.  Berated by his wife he had to own up to trying to rebuild the wall but the stones were so large and heavy he had lifted too much.  So the wall would have to stay down till later on.

Now one evening when they were driving home they surprised a warthog – yes I know warthogs don’t live in Spain, – but this one did and his name was Wally Warthog.  They could not believe their own eyes and as soon as they arrived home looked him up on Google.  Sure enough it said that warthogs were root and insect eaters and unlike the wild boar who would turn and fight  they would run away, just like Wally did.  Wally had obviously been abandoned so now they had another neighbour and felt sure they knew who was responsible for all the damage. Ummm no they didn’t they were wrong as events will prove.

Things went on a little bit quieter, she was able to tidy and repair the garden walls whilst he helped tidy up here and there, then the garden was dug up again. So it was time to reposition one of the night cameras as they really wanted to have a photo of Wally being very naughty. So a few night came and went with nothing happening and with Easter upon them they forgot all about it.  So it was quite a shock to the authors wife when she found her one and only tyre planter almost destroyed.  Years ago they had been given an old lorry tyre to make a planter with.  It was duly positioned at the top of the drive painted yellow and green and planted with Iris, Black Tulips and Snowdrops, and over the years it had filled out but this morning the bulbs were dug up and the tulip bulbs were gone. The wife  looked at her planter then sat on the edge and cried.  Then she went indoors and told the author who immediately jumped up and fetched the memory card from the camera, loaded it on to his laptop and said ” I think we owe poor Wally an apology look….” and this is what they saw:-

No Wally but these naught not so little piggy wigs rooting for bulbs and such.  So a lesson was learnt, do not blame someone for something unless you are very very certain they did it or you have proof.  SORRY WALLY ALL IS FORGIVEN…….

 

(c)  Michael Douglas Bosc –  Author

 

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Making Our Olive Oil

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This is our first bottle of home-grown olive oil from this years crop. We did not think we had enough olives to press but then it rained! not a lot but enough to fill them out a little.  Now we could pick the olives and take them to the local commercial press but there is a snag.  The presses are still making wine and our olives are turning black so by the time the second week of November comes round we would have no olives.  You can’t pick and save them for nearly a month because by that time they will have shrivelled up and gone like stones, so on the basis of that last year we decided to do it ourselves. Along with a little ‘heath robinson’ approach a dash invention and a good dollop of *&$%£ing we ended up with 6x1lts of our own oil.

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When we decided to pick this year, the trees looked like they had black leaves so we started with the tree in front of the house. So we spread a large net under the tree, Michael got the step-ladder and small saw I got my ‘picking chair’ and we were off.  All the olives that fell to the ground – and missed the net – were picked up and placed into the old cement mixer which is our crusher. Large stones were added and it was turned on and left to do its job.

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After a while we had a pulp which Michael then wrapped in cloth and placed in the press, then the real work begins. The press is turned until the oil starts to run then every few hours till eventually no more oil is left.  Then the container is brought into the kitchen where it is filtered several times until we have a clear oil.  This takes a few days but is worth it. The oil when it comes from the press is a combination of black sludge a little water and the oil itself.  To separate the oil and water its left to stand until there is a visible layer of oil of the top then it’s passed into one of three lemonade bottles to begin the filtering.  When you are trying to filter the oil some of the black sludge gets in there so the first filter takes that out, the second takes out any cloudy residue and the third and final filter is to make sure the other two have done their job then it’s poured into 1ltr bottles before being capped and stored.

 

Black Redstarts and Bloody Pigs

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I like to think this is one of Sam’s brood. For those of you who haven’t met Sam before he was a little Black Redstart who became my gardening friend.  When I was digging he would be there to see if there were any grubs/insects he could eat. Michael thought he was funny and we were heart broken when we came home one day to find him dead in front of the house, so in his memory I called the tree garden ‘Sam’s Garden’ and things in it have done very well.  We got the boys last year and yesterday we heard this bird calling to them.  Then this morning there was the Redstart sitting first on the tv areal then flying down to see what I was doing in the saffron garden.

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This is what the saffron garden SHOULD look like! below is how it looks after the piggy wigs have been there!!!

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What was I doing there??  trying to find any saffron bulbs that the wild boar hadn’t eaten!!!!  I had over 40 bulbs in that garden I have exactly 15 left, so I am planting them in a tub so at least I shall get a few bits of saffron this year.  But I did have a nice surprise I found one crocus open in the small walled garden with others on the way I just hope the boar don’t find them or there could be saffron flavoured pork on the menu…

Well there you have it, do it yourself olive oil making and gardening forest style.

(c) M D Bosc  – Author –

 

 

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Our Visitor and the Boys

I have often told you about the birds and animals that appear from time to time and the wild boar and goats that are around.  Well this one may not be wild (it has a tag in its ear) but it seems to have attached itself to us.  We were coming home the other evening and saw at the side of the track what looked like a baby deer. We stopped then saw it was a young goat.  Knowing better than to interfere with it  we carefully drove past and came home.  So imagine how surprised we were when this young male goat turned up. It wandered about so we thought the goat-herd was around but no, so we put a bowl of water out for it and it settled under the olive tree. After a while Bazz (yep he’s been named) got up and wandered off, so we returned to our various activities Michael writing, me doing bits and pieces on line and our daughter and the Boys sitting in the FFZ.  Next thing I hear is ‘Oi don’t eat the strawberries, leave the roses alone then get out of the tree’.  Although Bazz wasn’t exactly  scared of us he was skittish but he decided to take a look round and do goatish things, and yes they do climb trees.

The only photos I could get were through the double layer of netting as if I tried to get a clear photo Bazz was off, camera shy me thinks.  Now the Boys are very good ‘alarms’ (think they don’t like competition for our attention) so every time Bazz turned up they were shouting and hollering, and when I took his photos they made such a clamor that I had to  take one with them in.  By evening they had calmed down and Bazz had found a corner by the little house where he could hunker down for the night.  We think that he mother must have found him during the night as he wasn’t around this morning either that or he found the herd again, either way life has returned to normal until the next visitor wanders in.

Oh and as I write we have found out where Bazz is  in our shed…..

 

(c)  M.D. Bosc  Author

 

 

animals, wild boar, wild cats, goats,

 

 

 

 

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I have been chasing these little devils around my finca for ages.  No matter where I placed the cameras they avoided them like the plague.  Then one morning I was on the lower level and noticed that the ground had been disturbed and there were piggy prints all over the place.  So I went and had a cuppa and a council of war with the wife.  “Well” she said “there are several trees down there why not place a camera on one of them. Just one camera they won’t be looking for one”.  Poor soul she thinks the pigs can count….    Ummm now after this I am not so sure she isn’t right.  Anyway, I did as she suggested and these are the first pictures of the pigs and what’s more there’s a baby in there.

Oh Happy Days…..

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Ok so which is my best side??

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At long last we are at one with the forest.  The pigs are back now all we need to see are the goats to make it perfect. Oh dear here we go again, guess who’s just come in singing, we can’t get that dam song out of our heads. So all together now…”and there in the wood a piggy wig stood with a ring in the end of its nose, its nose, its nose, with a ring in the end of its nose”….  Happy Days…….

(c)  Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

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Well 2013 has drawn to a close.  So I thought I’d take a look at what has happened in the forest and on the finca this past year.

I will start with the finca as my wife has finally begun to layout the garden as she wants it.  Gardening here  is not like gardening round a house, there you don’t have a forest to keep at bay.  However her idea is to incorporate  or ‘smudge’ the edges of both garden and forest so that one blends into the other.

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So on the small terrace above the car-port she laid out a cacti garden with various plants given her by our friends and some we found on derelict buildings. As you can see some even flowered.  As this was a really stoney patch I gave her a hand to get started.

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The first thing we did was to clear away the weeds and rake as many stones as we could from the areas where the plants would go. Next we edged circles with stones and planted the cacti in them. This meant that the surrounding area between the circles could be laid with stones making pathways and hopefully keep the weeds down.

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Now to get to this garden we had to climb a small slope, and knowing us we did not fancy spending a hot summer with a leg in plaster, so I built some steps.  So now we can walk up and down in safety.  This was when my wife had an idea, uh oh….

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Last year she bought some Saffron crocus and planted them under the olive tree, however there was not much of a harvest.  What she should have done was plant them in full sunlight, you soon learn these things.  But this year nothing happened until I started to give the tree a loping then they all came up and she has had a bumper crop of saffron.  So to her idea. Well it’s this, as soon as the green starts to die back on the bulbs she will move them to the garden she has prepared beside the steps which is in full sunlight.

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The next thing to be sorted was the rose garden, but where to put it was the thing. The one we had was getting to small for her collection as a friend has given her some old-fashioned English roses, so I suggested the end of the house outside the bedroom.  This is now done with lavender planted in amongst them as it is supposed to keep afids away.

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The other thing is we have found and old ‘boot’ and a ‘bear’.  So my wife is busy laying out the edging of the garden which incorporates these two and her Xmas present is now defined she wants a small sculpting set, apparently the ‘bear’ needs a little bit of definition…..

As for the forest, well we still have not seen any wild boar yet, it’s nearly two years since we saw the last one up here. Even the hunters have not found any.  But we have hopes that they will return, the goats are back on the mesa and the birds don’t  like my pruning, mind you they like the digging my wife has been doing so swings and roundabouts, swings and roundabouts.

We are keeping a watch on the wildlife a usual because when we were in the UK for my medical in 2012 we returned to silence and no birds.  We could not work out what was wrong but after a while they began to return.  We think it was the hunting dogs drinking their water as once we had restarted the flow they were happy again.  Some of the trees have been blown down during the winds but they are safely on the wood pile.  So I am looking forward to a quiet 2014 in the hope of things returning to normal and the garden getting finished.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

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It has been a strange day, although it started out quite normal. Today was our paella day at petanca so an early start was called for. Up by 7am so we could get ourselves and our things ready and make sure we were there by 8.30 for the traditional breakfast of a boccadillo, black olives and red wine, which proceeds all the festivities.  When we arrived we saw many old friends who had been busy with harvests of various kinds all summer so lots of jokes and commiserations to be shared.

After breakfast came the competition.  For this everyone is given a number. This is drawn from a bingo style cage with each number being written down against a name on the entrance list. Next starting in numerical order from 1 to 28 the names are made up into teams of either 3 or 2.  We then play a knockout style of games and the top teams play each other for 1st, 2nd, 3rd place and so on.  Today I was paired with Pilla and we came top, beating everyone, we each won a leg of dried Hammon, whilst my wife and her partner Salu came 4th and won a dried hand of Hammon so we will eat well this winter.

Whilst all this was going on the men who were not playing began to make the paella, which being inland is made from meat, fresh herbs, rice, chicken stock and saffron cooked over two large gas BBQ’s.  We took our own wine, salad, olives and melon but you end up sharing it with friends and the coffee and whisky do the rounds along with liqueurs.  Then after everything was packed away there were a few more games of petanca before we all drifted home. Wonderful!

But! we found the strangest thing today was not easily answered.   When we looked out of our kitchen window this morning we saw a Storm Trouper standing sentinel like on the south field.

Then we remembered the ‘satellite’ that NASA said had come down, but claimed they did not know where. We all know these storm troopers are tricky people, so I wondered if there are two lost androids wandering around out there and if the ‘satellite’ was in fact an escape pod!!!!!

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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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