Monday, November 3, 2014

Boars, beaches, birds and ants

On Saturday mornings at this time of year we often wake up to the sound of hounds barking in the distance. But this Saturday was an exception: the barking was much nearer and was quickly followed by three shots. Some unfortunate wild boar had probably met his match. Then the barking sounded like it was right outside. Not only was there a lot of barking but goat bells clanging and people shouting. We don't often see goats close by but they do graze further up the mountain. I couldn't see anything out of the bedroom window but things were getting louder and louder and suddenly there was one extremely loud bang and then silence. I think another wild boar had been shot. I'm hoping that it isn't the one we shine a flashlight on and watch eating pine cones for the pine nuts and turning over the ground right behind us. The wild boars are very destructive and they have several large litters a year.  Since the stone pines have been thinned right behind us we see the boars and the hunters. One fellow just left his gun lying on the ground while he went for a walk. The hunters string themselves out over a wide area, into which the dogs attempt to drive the boar. Saturdays are not for walking in the nearby woods. 

We have been swimming every day that the weather permits. The water is crystal clear and there are lots of quite large fish. In fact yesterday I swam through a huge school of fish. I am always on the lookout for something that might like to eat them. There are quite large sea-bass as well as some smaller fish. In the rocky areas there are lots of jet black sea urchins. One of the funniest things I saw this week was an octopus gamboling along the sandy bottom. After I saw it I was very careful when I put my feet down.

Continuing on the theme of animals, we had a bird fly into the living room and terrorize us before it perched high up on the ceiling. Seamus managed to catch it and take it outside. It was slightly shaken but it managed to fly away.

And of course there has been the perpetual problem of the tiny, tiny little ants in the house. They managed to live outside in the summer but they have returned. Sometimes they are looking for water, sometimes protein and sometimes sugar. Once a can of coke burst in the garage attracting thousands if not millions of these tiny bugs. We can't figure out what they are looking for right now. However, the worst thing is when you feel them crawling over your face at night. If they went in your ear could they reach your brain? Sometimes they respond to ant traps, taking the bait back to the nest, while other times they ignore the traps. Then it is time to spray and leave home for a while. You can even buy spray to spread around the outside of your house once a year but we have never resorted to that.

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