Wildlife Diversity Bonanza at the Greek Hovel – yes reader I saw my first snake

Tom Winnifrith Tuesday 6 August 2019


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Poor Olaf, for whom the swimming pool at the Greek Hovel was built. Tonight we start to add water on the advice of the head of construction. This morning Olaf flew back to Britain. And there is another disappointment of timing. For the whole week she was hear there were frequent conversations “do we want to see a snake?” The conclusion was that we did but from the safety of the car. No snake was seen…

Driving back from the airport, feeling a bit down, I turned off the main road in Kambos and started heading towards the hovel on the track I now know so well.  About one hundred yards after the last house what did I see? Knock me down with a feather – it was indeed a snake. Pale brown and about a foot and a half long and pretty thin my guess is it was some sort of adder. I was so overjoyed to see it I just shouted “snake” to myself and did not think to angle the car towards it to crush it as would a local. Thus it slithered quickly into the grass and was gone.

Motoring on I passed the abandoned convent, hit the valley floor and started the ascent up snake hill. It was at this point that our local Golden Eagle opted to make an appearance, gliding majestically over-head. She, I gather it is a she,was, one assumes, on the lookout for breakfast, quite possibly a snake. As ever I wish her the best with her endeavours.

Other than an invasion of flying ants last week just outside the door of the rat room (with a  good number making it in) there has been little else to report on the wildlife diversity front. The Mrs and I committed any genocide using an antiseptic spray, hot water and a brush. The bodies lay piled up thickly.  The walls of the Greek Hovel are thick. The windows and shutters are solid, the house appears, I touch wood at this point, wildlife diversity proof.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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Photo article from the Welsh Hovel - the final fruit harvesting

I harvest not just for myself but for the pensioner couple one house up the lane and 95 year old E one house further up. And so we have a small number of crab apples from the two trees I planted this year – enough for one small pot of crab apple jelly, the last of the damsons for gin and then stacks of cooking apples from the orchard by the river and pears from a tree in the centre of the vegetable patch. Then finally some rhubarb which I planted this year…I have promised the family rhubarb crumble this evening. But will also be making apple jam, pear jam and maybe a bit of rhubarb and ginger gin.

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