Memories of childhood

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Memories of childhood
« on: May 15, 2017, 07:18:03 AM »
When we bought our house in Italy 19 years ago there was an owl living in the abandoned tobacco drying tower a short distance from the house. Once we took up residence it decided to find a new home although we often heard owls in the vicinity. Last autumn, before moving to our winter quarters in the nearby town, an owl was constantly calling at night very close to the house. During the winter and early spring,when I was visiting to check all was in order and do some gardening when possible, I was aware an owl was in the vicinity frequently because in several places on the terraces and on the loggia floor there was evidence of where it perched....
On one visit when going to the tobacco tower for some tool or other I was thrilled to find an owl pellet. Owls cough up small pellets of undigested fur and bones from the small animals they catch and I was transported back to my childhood when the highlight of a favourite walk was to enter an old dovecote and search for owl pellets on the dark and dusty floor. Recently I found another on the terrace to the front of the house where there is a large old fig tree - obviously another favourite perch....
Careful dissection of the second pellet revealed the remains of at least one mouse- the tail still clearly visible attached to main part of the skeleton.
We shall be moving back any time now and I am hoping there may even be a family of owls about after the breeding season and we may be lucky enough to catch the odd glimpse occasionally
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.