VIEW FROM MY BATH!
I am trying again to post a blog and as it is October and autumn is closing in I thought I would blog some thoughts and colours that strike me at this time of the year.
Normally I begin to feel slightly depressed as summer draws to a close but this summer was far too hot for any human in their senses so the beautiful but cooler days are most welcome. Now that summer is over, friends are departing to homes in the Northern Hemisphere, only colder days and possibly snow to look forward to, but this year October has been so beautiful and bountiful that I thought I would try again to understand the complication of Blogging.
So far, so good.
Yesterday as I sat on my own at lunch looking out of the big windows onto the four ponies in the field in front, a fascinating display of symbiosis was my cabaret. The Shetland ponies, heads constantly down munching away at whatever they can find in the way of fodder, and two families of grey wagtails using their backs as landing strips.
These delightful birds are known as ballerinas in Italy and they certainly deserve their name. They dance around the ponies using them as a draw for the flies they need. Ponies eat, flies attack the ponies, ballerinas dance into action and catch the offending nuisance and two tummies are filled at the same time. Perfect all round.
Except the little birds are not fussy where they stick their little feet or where they deposit their usual daily habits so they go onto the ponies backs. As I watched a myriad of little offenders run down Knickers' back and take off at the tail end and then use it as a runway, she finally felt that she needed to have a scratch and tipped them all off and rolled as best she could as she is rather rotund, and then once up on her feet again, head down munching, the whole ballet continued. It is a joy to behold.
BLACK FIG TURNING YELLOW
This tree produces so many enormous, lusciously sweet, black figs every year that I give most of them away. If we ate them all we would do ourselves a serious damage! Sad to see it go to sleep again but God willing we will all be here to see it burst into life again in 2016. The lime trees down the main drive this year were ablaze with colour.
The last few days of October this year have been the most beautiful I can remember in the last twelve years of living here. Colours, hot sun, bountiful harvest and of course the most important harvest of all, our olives.
KEITH AND HIS TEAM
Last year there was no olive oil in Tuscany. The Fly descimated the whole harvest. We had just handed over our terraces to an American who very cleverly realised that olive oil was the new gold dust and who had taken over most of the terraces owned by expats who didn't have the energy to pick their olives and in return give them as much oil as their needs required.
They are picking ours as I write and tomorrow I will receive the first green gold dust to try on my bruschetta. Heaven.
Keith sends the oil after bottling to America and more or less charges what he likes. He says, the smaller the bottles and the grander the labels, the more you can charge for it. It really is the only oil that you will ever taste that is 100% virgin olive oil as most of what we buy in our supermarkets is adulterated with all sorts of inferior oils.
I must go and feed the ducks, ponies, put Salty to bed and generally close up shop for the evening but as Blogger seems to have simplified things for its users, then I might continue to blog!
Here are some pictures of mellow fruitfulness.
QUINCE AND TURKS BONNET
The four legged friends also help in the picking of fruit at this time of the year!!
Cannot get the photograph to register of four ever-hungry ponies eating the fallen Kaki fruit. Hope they have a very bad stomach ache this evening.