Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Boring Boars

 Grubbing around
They're at it again. The first sign is holes in the grass or furrows in the earth, but this year they've outdone themselves. They have re-ploughed stretches of our neighbours' lawn, re-dug the water channel along our road and excavated the river banks. 

The wild boar are in a feeding frenzy. It must be grubs and roots they're after. They've dug virtual ditches along the road and tossed earth all over the place.

Not my own photo: thank-you internet!

We live alongside the wild boar. They're not native to Chianti, but then neither are we. Introduced from game reserves and then crossed with a Hungarian variety, they are huge. Trundling around in the woods in their family groups (mothers and piglets) looking for food, they don't bother us. I've learnt to recognise the cracking and rustling of their passage through the undergrowth, but hardly ever see them. 

In summer when the wild plums ripen it's fun to go out at night and hear them crunching up the plums, stones and all. In autumn they hoover up berries, tubers, grubs. In winter they thrive on acorns and chestnuts. 

When we first arrived at Le Ripe we had the future orchard ploughed, in a manner of speaking, by the builder's digger. Then we sowed beans and peas to enrich the earth. I only hope they had time to enrich the earth because no sooner did the peapods sprout, the plants disappeared. I actually spied the Sus Scrofa family enjoying its picnic of tender peas. What a treat!

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