Vineyard, Xan & Bob

Things that go bump in the night

August 30, 2018. I thought I would re-post this blog from last August since it is harvest time once again in the vineyard. I’m sure this early morning adventure will happen again soon. I hope you enjoy reading it. 


It’s been a funny ol’ day here. A strange animal sound woke us in the middle of the night. Woke us enough for us to ponder aloud what it could possibly be. It was not an animal sound either of us had ever heard. Soon we drifted back to sleep.

I woke up around 6am and was just lying there thinking when a distant sound caught my attention. As I told you harvest started here in the vineyard, so there is a fair bit of activity. At first I thought it was a tractor but then it dawned on me that it must be the magnificent grape harvester which we had seen a couple of weeks ago. 20170818_101525

I had no idea where it was but I really want to see one of these in action. So, I jumped out of bed. And got myself out the door. I figured I would just follow the sound. No biggie. Phone and GoPro camera with me I stopped to apply some bug repellent before I left.

The sunrise has not happened yet but there is enough light for me to see where I am going. As I start walking, I begin thinking about what I am doing. I love early morning walks and I have protected myself from the biting insects but I haven’t done an early morning walk where there are Jabalí (wild boar). Marcello, the owner of the vineyard, told us that they are a real problem as the grapes become ripe…like now. So, I think about this as I walk away from the house. There isn’t any repellent for Jabalí and I don’t think carrying a large stick is going to protect me if I did have a large stick and did come across one or more of them. Oh well. When was the last time I’ve heard of a Jabalí attacking someone in a vineyard? Never. On I go.

I follow the distant sound and wander down the road behind the village. I reach a point where the road turns and there is dense tree cover. All of a sudden, the Pterodactyls took off from the trees above. Scared the crap out of me. On I go. Then the next flock of Pterodactyls take off from the trees. Seriously?! Insects, Jabali and Pterodactyls! Oh my! When I look up to see them take off I must say that I was quite disappointed in the wingspan and overall size of them. It was a much smaller breed of Pterodactyl! How did that much noise come out of birds that size? Below are photos of where they lurk…I mean live.

Onward I go. I can hear the harvester but I still can’t see it. I continue walking toward the sound when I finally figure out where it is. I can hear it clearly. The rustling of the vines as it works its magic. I can now see occasional headlights. Aha! Found it! Well, not really. I can see it in the distance but no matter how far I walk I cannot find a way to get to it. It is up on a different level with a thick grove of trees between us. Darn. Oh well. It won’t be my last chance and to be honest I am really enjoying the early morning walk.

I start to wander back towards home. But I stop to enjoy the sunrise. Watching the sunrise makes me think of my friend Juanita back in Cary, NC. We talked about not being able to see the sunrise and sunsets there because of the huge trees. She grew up in Wyoming. Wide open space. Me, well I’ve lived lots of places where I could see the sunrise and sunset but Cary wasn’t one of them. Anyway, it was nice to watch it and think of dear friends. 🙂

I got back to the house and Bob was just waking up. He is NOT a morning person so early morning walks are not high on his list.

We were expecting a very hot day here today so thought we would head to the beach early before the heat set in. Wow! What a treat that was. The sea was sooooo calm. The beach empty. The heavy tourist time has passed and things are getting back to normal. It was so peaceful. Just the quiet lapping of the water against the shore. It turned out to be quite overcast and therefore not hot at all. We had a lovely swim after relaxing and reading our books.

We stopped for some groceries and wine on the way home. Later while we were having lunch I noticed a large tractor with trailer taking a strange route outside our gate. I’m guessing that it was too big to safely make it through the tree-lined road so it cut through the field. Of course, my curiosity got the better of me and I figured it had to be going to where the harvester would be working. I decided to go investigate.

By the time I start this trek the tractor is gone so I am not following sound but tractor marks in the dirt road. I walk down the road behind the village again. The Pterodactyls must be off wreaking havoc elsewhere as I walk under their trees with no problem. I keep following the tire marks and end up back where I was early this morning. There is no sound so I have no idea how far it has gone and the harvester is usually used at night. Hmmm. Well, I decided enough was enough so I turned for home. The clouds were gathering and even though we aren’t expecting any rain until Thursday, it sure looks like it wants to start soon.


As I am walking back the sound of the wind through the pines causes me to stop and take notice. It is such a lovely sound. The wind picked up and the sound of it through the trees made me look over my shoulder as it sounded like a vehicle coming down the dirt road. I stopped to pick some ripe figs along the way. Then the rain starts to lightly fall. I feel bad for enjoying the rain since so many friends are suffering with the rainfall in Texas. I have been watching the effects of Hurricane Harvey closely and it is absolutely devastating. It doesn’t rain a lot here. So, I will admit that many of us have been hoping for a bit of rain recently. It was enough rain to knock down the dust but not much else. Supposedly a rainy day on Thursday. Today’s was a light rain which had that lovely fresh rain smell.

So, at the end of the day it was all about the senses. Sound, sight, touch, and smell. Oh and steps on my Fitbit. Lots of steps!

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