Swift Swallows and the Lizard in the Bin

There’s so much activity outside at the moment, the skies are full of swallows and swifts that dart and zigzag as they catch insects, today I looked up and there must have been around twenty of them skirting around the house. They’re so quick it’s impossible to get a photograph, they even defy video capture.

The hedgerows are full of tiny greenfinches, so small are these lovely birds that they’re able to grip onto the slenderest of grasses as they pick out the seeds. They are usually in charms of three, five or seven, never an even number. (The collective noun for finches is a charm).


In the evenings the first fireflies are emerging and the dusk is lit by the glowing insects as they search for a mate, this in turn attracts the bats who gobble up the insects by the dozen.

With all this activity it’s easier to see how life explodes into animation as the warm weather arrives. Lizards and snakes are making their presence felt and we’ve also seen an emergence of grasshoppers. No doubt the dreaded mosquito will make an appearance very soon.

On a sad note, I went to put out the recycling bin tonight and when I opened the lid there was a small lizard inside, I think it must have climbed on top and fallen inside, and sadly it lay there dead, another reminder that living in the countryside is all about the circle of life.

It’s the circle of life…la la la dah dah

Don’t worry, I’m not about to burst into song…besides I’m not a fan of Disney, so wouldn’t know all the lyrics. Smile BTW, the photo is of a mural in town, nothing to do with this topic, but I thought I’d share it with you.

No Clouds and Kitchen Crocodiles

The weather has been quite nice of late, we’ve had clear skies without any traces of clouds so of course I’ve been taking advantage of the chance to do a little sunbathing to get the winter white flesh a healthier colour. I’m not really good at lying in the sun doing nothing and without clouds to watch it can be a bit dull just lying there.


So with the iPod breaking the stillness of the day up with tunes shuffling I lie and catch a few rays. The first song to blast out over the Italian countryside is, Think Again by 1980’s pop-combo, ABC, in fact the tunes today have a decidedly 80’s vibe. Mel and Kim make an appearance as does King and Tears for Fears. It’s only when Italian metal band, Linea 77, featuring Tiziano Ferro,  thrash the tranquillity with their single Sogni Resplendono,  that I decide it’s time to stop lying around.


I watch as resident lizard, ‘stumpy’ patrols in my orto, so named as he’s lost his tail, and decide it’s time to grab a cold drink, I wander into the kitchen just as Olive chases a large lizard through the door and watch as it dives for cover under the fridge, but not until our black terrier has nipped off the end of its tail. I do think if you had a phobia to lizards that central Italy wouldn’t be for you, as there’s so many of the emerald green reptiles here.

A few years ago I was at my friends house in Casoli, and somehow a baby lizard had managed to get through a fly screen, both us being a tad squeamish meant that the operation to remove the small visitor was an hilarious operation, and we then referred to it as the great crocodile hunt. So Now I’m left here on ‘crocodile’ watch as a tail end wriggles about on the floor.

The OH takes the dogs out and I settle down to work and look up and there’s the crocodile wandering across my kitchen floor, so with the yard-brush I coax it towards the front door and watch as it runs away to the safety of the grass.


OH returns and I tell the tale of the great crocodile hunter that retrieved it from under the fridge and sent it off on its way. At that moment, Alf our lanky juvenile red-legged dog chases another lizard in through the door and this new reptilian visitor takes safety under the kitchen units.

Oh-hum, that’s me in great crocodile hunter guise again.