Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

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Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:00 pm

Spotted (and heard the compressor) our first olive nets yesterday. Another of the yearly events, festa gone, grapes picked and now the olives to harvest. Yes there are the sounds of guns also, but not heard so many (yet) this year. But it's so enjoyable to pick up the sounds of frogs migrating back for winter, blue tits, finches and redstart returned and cicada gone for another year.... Trees turning yellow with even a touch of red... Would be nice for people to add their own as and when "spotted" events that often go without comment....  Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by Flip on Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:16 pm

We see Squirrels at the bottom of our garden, darting up and down the Hazel Nut trees frantically gathering nuts for Winter. By all accounts it is projected to be a severe Winter this year. Just been looking at the lizards sunning themselves on the terrace so not all gloomy.
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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by Geotherm on Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:32 pm

Have only seen a few squirrels this year around here. Plenty of deer though in the field next to us.
Pond is just starting to fill up again, since the rain and a few frogs have been about in the warm spells. Lizards abound everywhere in the garden, many tailless thanks to the setter, as he loves to chase them!!!

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:45 pm

What's with these squirrels...? Until this year (early on down by the sea of all places) we had never seen one... Yes, forgot about the lizards, they are now slow and seem to be more curious than ever. Come on, thought the praying mantis and locust would have come up... Only because I've seen so many in the last few days, along with the numerous dragon flies... Oh and it's not just creatures, it's the mists and strange intoxicating views they produce... Ok, back to Proseco.. Ahh another post...

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by FBower on Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:24 pm

For us it is the end of the swallows and bats swooping into the pool as we cover it over for winter. The olives we have had to leave (ie neighbour will help himself) as they are very late and if we can't pick them at half term...Can't wait to see how my lemon tree is faring as I'm back next week. How has the olive harvest been so far?

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by Lisa C. on Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:06 pm

Pumpkin and various fall festivals.  Glorious fall foliage, here in New England, about coming to an end as the leaves are fluttering gracefully to the ground.  Record number of leaf peepers, as tourists are called.  Just finished harvesting our grape vines and for the first time in three years we are finally making vino.  The past two were thwarted by a hungry flock of flying dinosaurs.  Quite a few wild turkey sightings as well as chipmunks feverishly storing their nuts.  Hummingbirds have all headed south and only the hearty birds remain.  Wood split and stacked and ready to go for the long winter.
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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:26 pm

Here the olive picking has been only going 2-3 days and they seem to stretch it out for weeks as some people have not started, we know some (higher up) who wont start for 1-2 weeks yet. Bats are still here, but not seen a swallow for at least a month. Last 2 mornings have been really cold, but the rest of the day hot sunshine with clear blue skies. Love these mornings when the mist lies in the valley and even more when it surrounds the bottom of the mountain and the top looks like it's floating in cloud... Hope your lemons look good and taste even better FB...

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by Gala Placidia on Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:43 pm

This is usually chestnut time and there are quite a few "sagre" organized to celebrate the harvest; however, it seems as if there is a pest causing quite a lot of harm to those beautiful trees. My friend, Debra Kolkka, wrote this very interesting article with great photos explaining the problem Problem with chestnuts
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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:59 pm

Ah yes chestnuts, have seen so many around (and eaten a few)... Let's hope they do find a cure soon... Another PRC import... Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by Gala Placidia on Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:00 am

Right now, the new season's chestnut flour will be for sale (I think). Great for "necci" (pancakes... ideal with ricotta), "castagnaccio" and pasta.
P.S. Chestnut flour needs to be carefully stored: airtight containers in a dark, dry place.


Last edited by Gala Placidia on Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:45 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Add P.S.)
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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by Angela Fuller on Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:25 pm

Walnuts picked up a few weeks ago.  A good year for them but it did all seem a bit obsessive, just couln't resist them so every pocket, hood, bag filled  and plenty of small ones once shelled to fill the bird feeder. Gala, talking of chestnut flour made me wonder if there is such a thing as walnut flour ?
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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:39 pm

Wish we had a decent camera and were quick enough to use it! Not sure if it was a lesser or Greater spotted woodpecker, but it give us a wonderful display at breakfast while he or she was trying to demolish our telephone pole on the edge of the land... Really amazed at the noticeable return of these and the other birds that over winter here. Some nest here next year, but lots of them disappear in the summer...

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by Gala Placidia on Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:39 pm

Angela Fuller wrote:Walnuts picked up a few weeks ago.  A good year for them but it did all seem a bit obsessive, just couln't resist them so every pocket, hood, bag filled  and plenty of small ones once shelled to fill the bird feeder. Gala, talking of chestnut flour made me wonder if there is such a thing as walnut flour ?
You can make flour with any kind of nut by simply grinding them. Almond and chestnut flour are the ones you can find commercially. Walnuts...you have to grind them yourself and the "meal" (it is more a meal than a flour) does not keep well and becomes rancid. There is a delicious dessert that I usually make around Christmas, as it is a kind of "torrone". Grind the walnuts, weigh the meal and mix it with an equal weight of white sugar (it has to be the same proportion of the two ingredients). Pour the mixture into a heavy base pan and start sirring over medium to low heat and keep on stirring until it caramelizes. Pour the contents into a buttered tin loaf and allow to cool down and rest for about a day at room temperature. You can then unmould and slice it. It has trillions of calories, though!!!Twisted Evil  Enjoy!
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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Sun Oct 27, 2013 3:32 pm

Walnuts are horrendously expensive in Italy and unfortunately we eat loads ... Sad Sad   So one of our main imports on the way back from the UK is walnuts at half the price... Very Happy Very Happy

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by Flip on Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:07 am

Yeah could never understand why Walnuts are so expensive here compared to the UK. Luckily we ahve 2 walnut trees so don't need to buy them, but remeber to wear rubber/latex gloves when you take the green outer casing off fresh picked ones as it stains your hands terribly.
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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:59 am

Ha, ha! Yes where we rented they had a large walnut tree and it took us days to get the black off our hands after peeling them like conkers... !!! We found rolling them under your foot with boots on or hitting them with a stick works well. We also have a couple of trees, but no where near enough produce for the amount we eat Sad Sad Sad

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by Gala Placidia on Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:02 pm

This is because walnut hulls contain a substance which can be used to stain furniture and is also very effective to combat fungus and other skin problems. Walnut tincture
I haven't been able to find it in Italy and I always have a supply brought from Spain where it is sold in a powder form that can be dissolved in water, making a geat stain for furniture.
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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:54 pm

Well today the weather man got it right and by lunch time we had rain and it is still dull and so much colder than yesterday! So whilst sitting being creative (making very fine kindle) in the freezing tunnel of an overhang we have, I thought "ah yes last night we heard the Nightingale". We did hear them during the day a few weeks back, but last night was the first night we had heard that haunting sound. Not that this does it justice, but here is the ever present LINK I should have really been keeping this up to date. We had our first Swallow 18th March and Hoopoe 31st March.

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by Angela Fuller on Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:51 pm

Yes Steve, heard the first hoopoe a few mornings ago....waiting for the golden orioles now.....
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... and fire flies...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:03 pm

Angela Fuller wrote:Yes Steve, heard the first hoopoe a few mornings ago....waiting for the golden orioles now.....

... and fire flies, spotted 1st one last year the last week in April  Smile

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:40 am

... first Swift spotted here today ... only awaiting the House Martins for my 3 summer bird collection. Oh and sure I heard your Golden Oriel this morning Angela....

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:15 pm

and fire flies spotted tonight....

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by Vicino on Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:54 am

One of our big delights is hearing the first Golden Oriole, I'll be listening out there this morning..........and fireflies here eh...........we'll check them out this evening,

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:13 am

We find it very hard to pick Oriole from the numerous Nightingales we hear. Strange because we have just being doing that very thing over breakfast on the terrace...

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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

Post by Angela Fuller on Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:32 am

I know it seems daft but they sing their name Steve....'Golden Oriole' - 'who are you'  or has a yodelng quality to its song....if not singing it makes a jay like noise.... where as the nightingale their song is unstructured.....Hope that helps...
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Re: Season events, grapes done, now olives to pick...

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