The forecast wasn’t amazing when we headed out into the Algarvian hills, but we decided to risk it as we don’t have many days left before we return to England for the summer. And I am so glad we did as the skies were amazing; blue to the east with storm clouds fast approaching from the west, and there were eagles, partridges and so much more.
If you have been following my blog a while then you know I cannot resist photographing the Iberian pigs. They are a traditional breed; a cross between a wild boar and the first domesticated pigs brought from what we now call Lebanon to the peninsula by the Phoenicians around two thousand years ago. I’m hesitant on the date as some research suggests they arrived 6th century BC, others 8th BC and some 12th century BC, but whenever they arrived it is some time ago. So I was delighted when we came across a whole family.
There was no sign of them when we first arrived at the farm, and if we had kept walking we would never have seen them. However the skies were rumbling with thunder, and becoming increasingly black and so we decided to pause for a few minutes in an archway. After about 5minutes watching very little MrB enquired whether I had spotted we were being watched. I hadn’t, I was too busy saying hello to a canine friend.
I looked away from my canine friend and his outdoor freezer, and saw MrB was right we were being watched. A face had appeared in the hole in the wall opposite. The face became a body, and it ventured out of the hole and went into the open pen to the left. It was then joined by another and another and so it continued . . . . . .
This family has total freedom to roam and the youngsters were clearly curious about us. However they were not brave enough to get close. Then Mum joined them, and she had no qualms. We were soon surrounded. I suspect they could smell our picnic, or at least were expecting us to do more then simply watch them and their tails curling and uncurling!
There are not many oak trees around the farm for them to enjoy a tasty diet of acorns but are finding roots and things as we had observed en route to the farm evidence of them previously rooting under trees. However, as you will have probably spotted in some of my photographs and the video there is an awful lot of rubbish lying around this farm yard, so this porco preto is therefore unlikely to be the best I have ever tasted. However it is lovely to see them free to roam and they appeared very contented.