shy violets

Silver Lining on a Tuscan cloud?

The wild boar, in their obsessive pursuit of roots, seeds, and the few nuts that dropped last fall from the over-arching walnut tree, have destroyed, decimated, debased and undone the patch of weedy grass that we optimistically refer to as “the front lawn”. Like everyone else in Tuscany, we detest wild boar.

We consider them the pest to beat all pests. We welcome hunters in the fall but they, alas, are fewer and fewer, mostly old guys who can’t see through their shotgun sights any longer, while the boar, which, my neighbors say, were introduced decades ago precisely to provide the hunters with game–the boar flourish to the detriment of anything resembling a lawn, as well as an unfenced garden, a field of sunflowers (which they love to roll in but not to eat) or a field of corn which they adore and can utterly destroy in a night or two. But there are two advantages the boar bring, two silvery linings to the dark cloud of their existence: 1) they keep the viper population under control, and 2) look at what they’ve left on our lawn–violets! Beautiful deep-blue, shy, perfumed violets sprinkled all over the clods of upturned sod. Time to count our blessings.

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