A watery wonder…

IMG_5322The fish must need more O2. They come up to the surface of their pond and sip air and not at Cocktail Time either. Then they retreat to the comfort of their pond plants. Concerned, I cruised amazon.it for a photo-voltaic bubbler thing, a fountain, something to agetate the water a bit in the fish’s pond. Stir up the ol’ O2. Found one that floats. Hot-diggity-dog! And for ONLY Euro 30. I had to brake and hard though. The obstruction was the 1st review of 33. I am amazed at how many folk take the time to write a review and for amazon.it too. A world of self-service is the progenitor now of one conditioned to leave reviews? To where will it lead? The 5-line blurb said the (presumed) Chinese manufactured piece of floating spray equipment was… well, in my less than polite language… a piece of shit. A rough translation of the Italian. Don’t buy it! added at the end was an unequivocally more direct message of WARNING!!!  The next review glowed with a Good Report. What’s The Real Truth here? Only alternation and vulgar hyperbole? Yep. The next reiterated the opinion of the first review in a tone much akin to the relief someone might feel right after having struggled and then launched a mechanical… or cybernetic… annoyance out the window and at a passing car. Ouch. I became undecided. Then, far, far, away, a little voice said to me… It’s ONLY Euro 30. Take a chance. Go for it. So I did. Hit Acquista ora and 2-days later a box was laid at my door-step. Assembled in a jiffy, it works. Tinkling water. Yeah!!! Not like Versailles but, it works. We are happy. Gosh. Its spray may keep mosquitoes away too. Even more happiness. Gads.

Flowers before Liberation Day…

A medley of Il Poggiolo’s first floral efforts on this day before Italy’s Liberation Day. Stores are open, Thank God. Restaurants are busy for pranzi. Folk come to Codiponte to pass the holiday, Spring’s true start, and to mainly shake-out Winter from the rafters. Gads.

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Pulling up stakes…

IMG_4696Harvest time for the ol’ beans down at Tonino’s Bean Patch. Pretty shocking. With the beans plucked & sacked for market and the bamboo stakes pulled up & stacked for next year’s crop, the vines just wither down to the ground… esauriti. Kind of like the Wicked Witch Of The West’s demise in The Wizard Of Oz. Yet, from the other end of the patch…

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other beans have still to ripen on the vine!

Sweat lusting horse flies…

Tafano flyThis bug is one of God’s nastiest creations. The horse fly. Tafani in Italian. They bite flesh. I HATE It when God says… Hey! Why not? He could’ve taken pity and opted for a re-think for a nono-second more. Nope. They are now out in force after our simulated summer of rain with intermittent sunshine. Those bugs thrive on it. So too on my sweat. Sweat lust. Disgusting. Mean too.

Awoke from a non-nap this afternoon. Went to the window to survey the afternoon and saw folk working. Said to myself… Time to get busy Mr. Descended to the cantina and pulled out the weed-whacker and the lawn-mower. Hey! It’s Thursday, Grass Cutting Day. And, lo’ and behold, the weather was copacetic to the enterprise! Started whacking the ramp and got attacked by a storm of tafani. They got me everywhere: cheeks, forehead, arms, forearms, wrists, neck, they sure went for me. Huge welts from their icky poison. Had to stop and re-group. Here I am prepared to defend myself… please note the determined tilt to my head. Admirable, no? I was ready: pants, long-sleeve cotton sweater, dish rag for the Lawrence of Codiponte look and tied at the neck for the Little Miss Bo-peep and My Stinky Paglia Garden Hat.  The Safety Spectacles are the glowing touch of style, n’est pas? Had no more trouble after that. All is now cut, clean, ship-shape for You’s arrival tomorrow Noon. Gads.

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Boy, what beans…

Sorry. I’ve missed a few episodes. Whilst others complain about the deplorable state of their fruit and vegetable gardens, Tonino can have no ready complaints. Looks to me like it will be a bumper crop this year. Rising, rising and rising upwards, the beans continue to do their growing-bean-thing…

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Climate change…

Every morning, I take The Dogs out for their Morning Constitutional. 50 minutes of watching those spoiled Weimaraners sniff disgusting things with occasional donations of their inimitable bio-waste, both liquid and hard. Mostly liquid. Yes, what fun. Our normal percorso is to cross the Medieval bridge, make a left and descend the asphalted ramp to the narrow lane which connects the Medieval bridge to the one built in the late 70s.

Just getting to the other side of the bridge saps My Patience. Moses likes to hang back, meticulously sniffing every single blade of grass, weed, moss sprouting from the cracks in between the Medieval stones of the gently arched old bridge. Nearly a quarter of an hour is dedicated to this phase of our journey. Meanwhile, Nina has already canvassed the entire community of Codiponte, bolting from one corner to another, probably done, in the hope of catching a cat… a gecko… a butterfly. Any moving creature will do. Her forte in these pell mell peregrinations is to return and present me with some found and quite dead animal, thankfully deceased with no help from her. When she is not looking, I gingerly toss the dead thing to a watery end in the river below. We re-group at the ramp to continue on towards the core of our morning’s viaggio.

Mr Amble-along drifts towards the large fig bush which divides the lane after the ramp levels off to leave some donation there. Then, he goes back to sniffing. At this fork, the low road leads to a sandbar and this year’s Codiponte Beach. A local builder brought his ruspa and made an impromptu dam for the kids to have a swimming pool of sorts on our hot afternoons. The high one aims for the new bridge and bisects the fluvial plain, so to speak, which is divied-up into a series of fruit and vegetable gardens. All these agricultural implants belong to the residents of the Commie House above the SR 445 and the S****Y Bar. Sorry for the ***s. Neighborhood UFOs read this blog!!! The Commie House, as many of you might recall, appears unwanted… totally unwanted… in countless photographs taken for this blog. Yes, it is more than just an ugly eye-soar. It’s a cultural-political crime. The denizens of this grotesque edifice are also owners of stunningly old and lovely stone houses in the main village grouped around the confines of the piazzetta of the village. If they only knew what they have abandoned. But then, on a larger scale, that’s Italy for ya’.

Slowly yet surely, we three trudge our way down the little lane meeting most everybody tending to their gardens in the relatively cool though often muggy AM hours. While the canine cavort over the fauna, I stop to converse with the locals. The all have one message… their fruit and vegetable gardens are a disaster!!! The previous message, say around the middle of May, was how late they were in planting them for the summer growing season. Nearly a month late. Too much rain, hale and cold. The next complaint was… what happened to summer? And with this, lies the true disaster.

For instance, tomatoes are a delicate yet vital fruit. The plants need water but not as rain. You water the canals dug between the rows of plants and let the summer heat force them to erupt with bountiful clusters of red ripe tomatoes. This year’s climate has not been particularly co-operative. Nope, none at all. We’ve had bouts of rain, hard downpours followed by cloudy days of heavy humidity. Nothing can dry out. Then, these are spliced with short shots of intense, searing heat. The only thing a tomato can figure out to do with such a climatic rhythm is to either explode into a yellowy mess or, implode into a cruel fungal death. The Codipontesi are desperate. The same scenario would apply to the other garden edibles though the tomato crop or, the lack of one, has created much local unhappiness.

Last year’s fungal attack… which many believe emanates from the preponderant use of plastics insidiously polluting the air we live & breath… killed the vendemia. Most just dumped the wine from their grapes into the river. This year, it will be the grapes and tomatoes. The river won’t be the same. Gads.
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Bean-patch,1st week in July…

IMG_4586IMG_4591 Ahhh, the shadow of the early July morning still holding onto Tonino’s bean-patch. The architecture continues daily… sticks & sticks & sticks stuck into the ground, so the vines can twist & twist & twist up their heights. New plants will soon need their bamboo supports. It’s a constant operation.

I ran into Tonino the other day while out waling The Dogs on the new bridge of Codiponte… well, it’s newer than the really old one… and he said he’s watching these posts too! Hope he is admiring his gardening handiwork. IMG_4589

Personally, I’d like to know how he keeps weeds from taking over all. Neat rows of plants, with water canals in between and n’er a blade of a weed in sight. Amazing. Gads.

The garden on the 1st of June…

Worked My Anglo-Saxon-in-Italia ass off this holiday weekend. The 2nd of June, Monday, is La Festa della Repubblica. Let’s move on.

I thought it would be nice to post a few photos of My Labors-of-late since, according to both You and Our English Friend, Il Poggiolo’s Garden is looking quite good. Not sure in a photo but, the 23,00 sq. feet has been de-weeded, clipped, planted, sprayed and watered…

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