Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bored by boars

Stuffed baby boar mounted to a sausage vendor's truck at the Molina Sangra we attended. The babies look so cute but if anyone is stupid enough to get close to them, they will squeal and you will have to face an angry sow and her cohorts.
Head of male boar mounted in the hall of Gagliano's castle

Recently there was an article in the Detroit paper how boars and feral pigs have become a huge problem in Michigan.(
Unlike the European variety which I had my close encounters with, the feral pigs here are crossbreeds between domestic hogs and boar and can weigh up to 1000 lbs vs the 200 lbs that boars usually weigh. A female can have 2 litters of up to 12 babies a year and these babies reach sexual maturity before they are a year old so they can multiply much faster than deer. Some have been spotted near my sons house but as they are nocturnal, sightings are uncommon.

I would wake up as soon as the sun rose to run in the mountains outside of Gagliano. We had seen sounders (groups of females and their babies) race across fields in our early morning bus trips. The cinghiali (boars) spend the night rooting in fields and then retreat at dawn to the forest where they sleep. I didn't see them on my runs until I had been there a few weeks, then I saw them almost every day. Adult males travel by themselves. I was running on the edge of a mountain road when I saw a male walk across the road about 100 feet ahead of me. He did not look at me but I wondered if I were in danger. There was a 2 foot stone guardrail at the edge of the road. Could he jump it? His belly looked low to the ground. After passed, I continued my run to Secinaro (up, up, up....). On the way back, I saw a sounder consisting of 3 adult females and their babies of varying ages cross the road around the same spot.

As soon as I had access to a computer, I looked up boar deaths..not that many: most have occurred in mythology. Years ago I watched the miniseries The Thornbirds in which at least one person is graphically gored to death in the outback by an enormous boar. Recently I looked up boar deaths in Italy: 30 alone this winter including that of a famous jet setting prince last week. But the deaths were not due to the boars themselves, they were hunting accidents in pursuit of the boars. Hunters are allowed to pursue the boars on private land and some people unknowingly get in the crossfire.

I live on the edge of town. Coyotes have been spotted in our neighborhood but not by me. I don't have to run too far to encounter deer and fox.

Our warm period has started but there is a fresh coat of snow making things slippery and the wind is gusting to 35 mph. The snow is all trampled down on the streets making getting stuck again unlikely but the huge snow mountains take up space limiting parking. The Y has lots of classes on Saturday so it is crowded and with these snow mountains, hard to park. I did go there yesterday and did a double workout.

Happy hour with our $2 cosmoses was fun the other night. Josh came over to visit after work yesterday.I feel blessed to have him as a son.His wife had begun a new job last Monday plus she still is a full time student who should get her masters in accounting this summer so she is a busy, busy person. When will she have babies? Josh will give me dates that come and go. Yeah, I know...none of my business and I do have 3 precious ones already.

No comments:


Blog Archive