I have just spent a quiet week in the Chianti region of Tuscany, Italy, staying in a house three and a half kilometres from a tarmac road. During the day time Bee-eaters flew overhead with their rather plaintive calls and as the light faded and a bottle or two of the local Chianti emerged, so would the local Nightjar start up its churring call from the valley below the house, Roe deer would bark their alarm calls and the grunting and squealing of foraging wild boar would all begin to fill the air.
The numbers of wild boar seem to have increased of late, along with their confidence, as they would quite happily root around within feet of where we were sitting, taking no notice of our talking and the clattering of plates. I have put a photo of one of the smaller garden intruders!
There has also been a lot of forestry work since I was last here, with a workforce from Transylvania apparently, heavily thinning sections of steeply sloping hillsides. I don’t think it would be considered in the UK, as some of the gradients being harvested are extremely steep and I think that tractor use would be ruled out as too dangerous. But this of course is Italy – say no more!! Again I have placed a picture of the operations, with one of the hills behind that had been “thinned”.
|One of the smaller garden intruders!|
|A colourful Bee-eater|
|The forestry operation|