Whilst on holiday here in Le Marche, you may be lucky to spot one or two of our native (or imported!) creatures and plants.
In the late spring and early summer, the mountain plains look like a multi-coloured carpet making a stunning sight. Look out for wild cyclamen, wild orchids, blue gentian, violets and many more.
Snow Hamsters - Small mountain rodents that gain a white fur in the Winter to camouflage themselves against the snow.
Porcupines - not strictly indigenous. Introduced by the Roman army in ancient times
as a reliable food source. Apperently they are quite hardy creatures although difficult to handle!!
Golden Eagles - A regular sight up here in our garden as they use the warm air currents to circle wide areas with ease whilst hunting their prey.
Scorpions - Available in all sizes. Their size is proportionate to their sting. They favour cool dry places so watch out when lifting rocks!
Praying Mantis - Difficult to spot in long grass as they look exactly like long grass.
Lizards - Available in various sizes and colours. Can be quite friendly.
Wild Boar - Occasionally you can hear them grunting in the woods!
Wolves - Don't panic! They live right up in the mountains away from humans. If you do come across one just walk away quickly !!
Lots of Butterflies
Greate Spotted and Green Woodpeckers
Local Produce - ideal for you to take home, include
Figs, olives, walnuts, grapes (and of course wine), honey, wild mushrooms, truffles (black truffle festival at nearby Roccafluvione in October), Pecorino cheese, salami and proscuttio crudo.
The Stars at Night
Another fantastic sight is the night sky. Light pollution is very low and the stars are so bright on a clear night - we were certainly amazed! Shooting stars are common as you look out from the garden - there is even a whole night being officially devoted to watching them fall (la notte di San Lorenzo) in August. If you are really interested, why not come up on our balcony and use our telescope - you will be astounded by the beauty of the sky at night. There are several excursions a year for star watching in the national park.