My turn to get up first this morning, open the shutters to the sunshine, feed the cats and make a pot of tea. I could hear dog activity in the olives below our house, the hunting dogs wear bells so they owners know where they are as do we and the cats. The noise got nearer, the cats came indoors and I wandered onto the terrace still wearing my dressing gown to see a man with a gun coming up the steps into our garden. I shouted good morning, I think he was as surprised as me, returned my greeting, apologised and turned back into our orchard. I asked if there was some animal in the orchard but he didn't answer. The dog activity, barking and howling, continued in the orchard for a while, then receded down the slope until there were three shots. I have no idea what the man was hunting but after that he seemed to disappear and silence returned.
We are in a region designated for hunting wild boar and last Sunday there was much shooting on the mountain above us. We took a late afternoon walk to the village and were passed by two pick up trucks, one of which had a dead boar in the back, a massive creature with large tusks. The hunters drove through the village blowing their horns as they do at a wedding, obviously wanting everyone to see their success. My neighbour told me later the creature had been killed just above us.
I hope this mornings hunter wasn't on the trail of a boar, we have had evidence in the past of them rooting in the orchard and on our lawn, I don't want to meet one face to face. Rumour has it they are becoming more confident around property in the way of urban foxes and more aggressive too. Life in Italy, it certainly has its wild side.