If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

04 May 2006

Animal Planet, Italian Style

Okay, here's the obligatory mea culpa: I am sooooooo behind in my posting. EuroBimbo, my friend in Cortona, just emailed to give me shit about that ... (telling me to stop ironing and start blogging again!) Fair. Except she's the photographer in the gang, and I was waiting for HER blog to catch up so you could see some cool pics about what I've been up to for the last month. It's getting there! (You CAN click here to see pics of the amazing journey into Monte Oliveto Abbey that we both took this past month ... and, yes, I'm the friend who wasn't fazed when Bimbo & Barky were 2 hours late for lunch. Life's waaaaaaaay too short to worry about that crap.)

Today was totally an 'animal planet' kind of day. This morning, while out gardening, I heard a loud noise that sounded like a cross between a pig oinking and a duck quacking. So loud that it stopped my hoe-ing (no pun intended, but a damn funny line nonetheless!) It turns out it's a BIG MOUTHED FROG by my pond (which reminds me of The Dreamer's joke about the BIG MOUTH FROG which is only funny in person, so I can't retell it here. But it made me laugh.)

That pond (kind of more 'water retention area') by the way, has upwards of 70 goldfish in it, some of them HUGE. I'm like the new Tuscan koi farm here. Nice work if you can get it. I've always been entrepreneurial.

And then, this evening at sunset, I saw two deer eating my garden in the backyard -- a teenage girl deer and a boy deer, I think (one had antlers, though they were youngish antlers). I watched them for a while quietly ... since I don't have anything interesting enough in the back garden to really care about it was more fascinating just to have the wildlife around and watch them. City girl, I guess. That was about 2 hours before sunset, just as I was going outside to have my massacre.

Yes, I'm the now-infamous caterpillar butcher of Tuscany - perhaps you've heard of me? I discovered a whole series of 'webs' (webworms? tent caterpillars?) in the tree/shrub at my front driveway this morning when I was watering. More than 150 individual 'webs' in this young tree. Each web had more than 20 little tiny white & black worms (caterpillar larvae? pupae?) in it.

All the sources I talked to said while they weren't sure what specific species it was, that it couldn't be good to let them keep going like that (after only 2 days, that's the damage they had ALREADY done!) So I spent an hour carefully pruning each nest out of the tree. And then putting the box of the cuttings onto the firepit, listening to the crackle of five thousand caterpillar bodies and taking a little too much delight in that.... though, seriously, I did wish we had s'mores here!

(I know, I should have taken pics of ALL of this. But I was too busy playing Jane Goodall today.) Maybe tomorrow.


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