Three Oddities: Thousands of Birds, a Summer Truffle in March, and a Red Mushroom

More winter experiences:

One late afternoon in February, my attention was drawn away from preparing dinner to the sound of many bird wings outside.  When I emerged out of the house to the front terrace,  I realized that many thousands of starlings had descended on Calboccia.  It was quite a sight!Image

The picture above only shows the few starlings that stopped in the trees, but many, many more were up in the air, the sound of their wings resembling a storm!

I have found black summer truffles at Calboccia, but never in March! Image

And finally, while raking leaves under our big oak tree, near the same spot where the truffle fell into my hands, I discovered a tiny, bright-red mushroom.  What a brilliant little treasure!Image

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Winter 2014: Planting and Pruning

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This winter has been extraordinary:  I have not seen so much water come down our little Monte Calboccia!    Yes, there was lots of rain until early March, so much so that the Niccone River, which is usually hardly more than a stream along the Niccone Valley, flooded a couple of fields.  The Tiber River, too, was fairly close to doing the same, but didn’t – per fortuna!   Now it’s mid March, and nature has calmed down.  February and March are the months to prune our olive trees, fruit trees  and roses at Calboccia, and we did with gusto. 

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Lavender harvest

We’re keeping the bees, butterflies and hawk moths (they look like tiny hummingbirds!) happy by letting the lavender flower out before harvesting it.  When the blossoms dry up, we’ve been picking them, and letting the houses fill up with their wonderful, calming scent.

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We got adopted

Our friends here keep telling us that no Umbrian farm house is complete without a cat.  Well, this guy finally found us.  He emerged out of the woods one day in April and hasn’t left since.  Really the perfect outdoor cat, he stays outside 24-7, doesn’t mind being petted (though definitely not a lap cat) and supplements his store-bought dinner with foraged fare.  Meet Biancchino (little white one).

Biancchino

Biancchino

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The Wettest May Ever!

Waking up in the morning to the sound of the spring flowing its way down the seven levels of the old, defunct sheep “bevatoio” in the backyard is a new experience at Calboccia. It has been an unusually rainy May, and farmers and town folk are tired of so much rain. The farmers, because their crops – wheat, sunflowers, corn, vegetables, fruit trees, grapes, and – yes: still – tobacco are at risk; the town folk, because they are fully prepared to don their summer clothes at the farmers’ market on Wednesday mornings. But, but, but … Everything is so green and lush! Vivid thunder clouds and rainbows! Frogs and toads making merry noisily in the small forest ponds! Hoopoes, pheasants, and hawks feasting on forest and olive-grove fare … a multi-media experience!

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Black Summer Truffles at Calbboccia

Tartufi by Dea

I am just getting around to posting a photo of some of the black summer truffles that our neighbor’s truffle dog Dea found below our oak trees last August.  We washed them carefully with a dish brush under cold running water, grated them, and sauteed them with garlic  in our Calboccia olive oil for five minutes and served them on bruschetta.

Please contact Christine@calboccia.com, if you would like additional information.

Thank you for your inquiry.

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News and Updates

Making elderflower cordial – May

Hi!  We’ll try to keep out guests posted as to what’s going on at Calboccia.  We plant trees, harvest olives, design new furniture, and make jam.  Thanks for stopping by.

Please contact Christine@calboccia.com, if you would like additional information.

Thank you for your inquiry.

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