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Photo article from the Greek Hovel: shocking slithering wildlife diversity as my harvesters make me the laughing stock of Kambos

Tom Winnifrith
Wednesday 13 December 2023

The highlight of this year’s olive harvest has been seeing the golden eagles soaring overhead. A few years ago there was just one. Then last year I spotted that she had a mate and this year there were three eagles flying high above the house looking for breakfast. Later on one swooped down and flew past the front of the house at no more than fifty feet high.  It is a delight to see these rare birds flourishing. Today, we encountered wildlife diversity of a different sort.

It is a hot day here and we drove down to the village for a light lunch. The harvest is all done and we are busy tidying up the house and preparing to depart early on Friday morning. The cooker, the heating/aircon and a couple of lights have all been mended and I sense all three of the harvesters are keen to get back to our loved ones.

As we entered Kambos I shouted “snake, snake”. The damn things are meant to be hibernating but I guess the warm weather had encouraged one out. Harvesters T & J jumped out of the car excitedly to go and look. I just wanted to run it over. In a house by the roadside two women looked out from the balcony and made gestures that made it very clear on whose side they were.  J, in particular, seemed very friendly almost walking side by side with his new friend as he muttered, “yes it’s an adder”.

Close the car doors I screamed urging the two snake lovers to get in. But they dawdled and it was too late. By the time the doors were shut the snake was almost at the roadside. I tried to run it over but it had escaped. The women looked with despair at the men who had let the little bastard (about half a yard long) go. They will be talking about it in the village later. I shall be an object of derision for not killing it.  The harvesters are in disgrace.

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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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