Ants in our pants (almost)

According to everyone we spoke to, we took the good weather with us to Galicia when we visited last week, although I did try and point out that the English spring back home was more resemblant of a continuation of the English winter. After a ropey weekend here it looks like we might have brought it back to Yorkshire.

The world just seems a happier place with the sun on your back.

There is plenty of Galicia news to share over the next few weeks, but my first blog since arriving back has to be about the natural world and our exposure to the animal kingdom.

We benefitted from a nice car upgrade, a brand new (1,000 km) Renault Megane Scenic Diesel with all the toys (which essentially means that I could connect to my iPhone via bluetooth and annoy Amanda with my music all week). I wore a broad grin as I approached the nice shiny car, but it wouldn't last long.

As I opened the drivers door I saw an ant, then another, then realised that the whole car had a serious infestetation. We retrieved our luggage from the boot, took out the dictionary to look up the word for ant (hormiga), and headed to the Budget rental desk. The nice rental lady went to investigate and on her return exchanged our chariot, for a slightly higher mileage version of the same car.

On arrival in Pontenova for our first meeting we had some time to kill so went for a wander near the old kilns and up towards the football ground. Here we encountered our second bit of nature, the first lizard that we've seen in Galicia, and it was a belter.

Photoshop free lizard

It was about 30cm long and stunning with a blue head, green body and brown tail, I photoshop you not. We'd later see a very similar one up at the house and now wonder how they have evaded our eyes for the last two years.

Up at the house we had wildlife encounters three and four, although not strictly 'wildlife'.

We visited neighbour Miro who has a pig in his barn whose chances of survival past the end of the year I suspect are slim. He's a friendly thing, the pig not Miro, and likes to have his head scratched with scrubbing brush. He eats corn and the best vegetable scraps from Miros garden and seems fairly happy with the world.

This winters chorizo

And we've not finished yet.

Those of you who have been reading my blog will know about Enrique, the donkey I accidentally electrocuted. He's still on our farm, although evicted from the barn, and now lives in a makeshift shelter under a cabazo.

Not an apple in sight

Amanda called him and he came trotting but then left her feeling guilty that she'd no treat for him.

I, on the other hand, stayed well clear. I'm sure he remembers me and the now infamous 'electric apple' episode.

 

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3 Responses to Ants in our pants (almost)

  1. Guilhelme Rego says:

    Hi again,
    Nice pictures!. The lizard you found is a Schreiber’s green lizard, an endemism which can only be found in Portugal, Galicia, northern Spain and the Basque country.
    I’ve been thinking about your feeling at home here in Galicia and the Celtic connections with the other Atlantic countries.
    There is a simple explanation for this. As Linheiras and Ponte Nova are both within the Albiones (one of the old Galician tribes) territory. As you know, England’s Celtic name is Albion and Scottish national name is ALBA still today. Besides, the region where you are now living is known in Galician history as Britonia. When the Anglo-saxons invaded England Britons fled to Brittany (Britannia minor) and to Galicia (Gallia minor) where they founded a colony named after them.
    Here I include an article by Brian Donnelly “We are not Celts at all, but Galicians”.

    http://groups.google.com/group/soc.culture.irish/browse_thread/thread/9700290ea28a92ca/2f1bff54d19d2d7d%3Fq%3D%2522A.%2BGallus%2522%232f1bff54d19d2d7d&ei=iGwTS6eaOpW8Qpmqic0O&sa=t&ct=res&cd=4&source=groups&usg=AFQjCNHkw-l1rtx4bKIg-xeE3m5I8GqqGA

    Hope you find it interesting!

    Guilhelme

  2. admin says:

    Hi Guilhelme

    Once again, thanks for your comments. Your reasoning definitely makes some sense to me. And thanks for naming my lizard.

    Paul

  3. Ian says:

    Watch out where you find those lizards you will find snakes. The later loves to eat the former.

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