Following on from my article last week, I would like to say hello and thank you to Sig. Ettore Bonfanti, the silver-haired gentleman in the last photo of the ‘Bar Talk’ article. As if to prove my observation that the patrons of Italian bars are wonderfully friendly people, Sig. Bonfante (who I have never met) asked for the link to the blog so that he could have a look. When I pointed out that the blog is in English, he told me not to worry, he’d enjoy having a look at the photos!
So, on with this week’s article. Before writing about the local food and wine (which, let’s face it, is what most people are interested in!), I thought I’d write about the flora and fauna of the Lodigiano area. Spring is on its way, the trees are already in full blossom – the magnolias in particular are spectacular – and farmers are preparing the fields for planting crops. This is probably the prettiest time of year here, before the hot summer sun has turned everything brown and dry, and a shimmering haze of heat settles on the horizon.
Over the last 10-15 years, herons have made a come-back to the area and the fields are full of them. Multitudes of small, white herons stand among the larger, more graceful grey herons, which may be fewer in number but are truly magnificent birds, especially in flight.
Another animal that is taking over the Lodigiano countryside is the nutria, or water rat. This non-native rodent has slowly infested the territory, arriving as far as the suburbs of Milan! These cute-looking animals are destroying centuries-old riverbanks and floodbanks, and their carcasses litter the edges of the roads.
My husband enjoys working as a postman at Caselle Landi and Cornovecchio, right out in the countryside. It’s a far cry from the apartment blocks and concrete of Milan and the suburbs where he used to work, even if most people have a dog or two, which can be a problem for a postman!
But some people have other types of pets, such as deer:
a few horses:
and some rabbits:
Friendly people, characteristic bars, and varied wildlife – despite its flat, monotonous landscape, the Lodigiano area is a fascinating place to explore, if you take the time to look.
(Photos of magnolia tree, heron and water rat courtesy of pixabay.com)