La Taillede hasn't been inhabited by humans year-round for 14 years; so when we first arrived, we shared it! Our neighbouring farmer breeds horses for meat, and they roam freely and graze all around this area, even in the village of Corsavy. They are beautiful horses and we saw them here a few times before we were here full time. They would be welcome back but maybe they are avoiding the dogs and activity here now. Matt and I REALLY want to get a couple of these horses; they could draw a carriage and we could ride them all over the mountain. We just need to break a couple of them in; oh; and learn how to ride! Maybe best to wait until the kids are at school & gites are built!
There were also many bats here; one lived in our sitting room and hung above my desk. I didn't mind at all but was a little worried he was going to drop dead & fall on my head, as he hardly moved during the day. He would just stretch his ears from time to time.
I used to have to get up around 4 am to give Simi some milk. As I approached the kitchen I would often have to duck because i had disturbed a bat! I was never sure where he was coming from or going to when all the windows were shut.
We had a bit of a mouse problem on our floor and a rat problem upstairs. The mice didn't bother me too much other than having to cover everything every night, but they would always find something else to chew on. However, the rats bothered my Mum so she moved out and into the caravan for a few weeks!
The rat hunt began upstairs. We tried cameras & traps; caught nothing. Filled in all the holes in Mums room.... and resorted to rat poison. There is still something moving around in the attic but we don't think it is rats any more but something bigger. Well, that's OK then! (I'm just glad we live downstairs!).
Common Toad (Bufo bufo)
Adam, our resident wildlife expert, finds all sorts of animals when working on the land. We did have a toad who lived on our front steps, and she looked just like this one; (apparently the big ones are the females).
Adam has found 2 kinds of lizard; the european green lizard and the european wall lizard. Here is the green one;
This is a big hunting area for sanglier (wild boar) and chevreuil (roe deer). The hunt sometimes shoots on our land which we are OK with because the sanglier are a pest when you are trying to grow your own produce. They ruin fencing & dig up the land, pinching your veggies! You don't often see them but you can certainly see where they have been.
I was walking in the forest last October with Simi on my back when the dogs ran excitedly after something. I heard a squeal and realised they had injured something; probably a baby sanglier. I decided not to call them off because I didn't want it to die slowly from its injuries.
I found it dead in the bushes and brought it home, wondering what to do next. Matt wasn't keen to eat it after it had been mangled and neither of us yet know how to butcher so we gave it back to the forest; not to the dogs because I didn't want them to get a prize for killing something.
A young roe deer crossed our path when we were driving down to the creche one morning. Olea saw it too; I thought what an amazing thing to see and what lucky children we have!