As you may or may not remember, my marito and I are now proud owners of 0,000023% of Italy.
In an effort to shamelessly brag once more, I shall now stun you with the view over our land, using a photo that is artfully designed to lend fantasy to the notion of a large, concrete, abandoned box of a house on the top of a ridge. I’ll just give you a moment to “oooh” and “aaaah” and let the jealousy settle in…
Make no mistake, this is an absolutely beautiful location. However, this romantic representation of our new old house is somewhat misleading. If one looks closely, one will note that only the foundations are historic. Built atop those stone foundations is a concrete box that does little to respect the surrounding landscape and historic location.
The subject of our renovation will, I’m sure, be a frequent one in the future. For the moment we are laying low on the subject while we discuss environmentally responsible and historically appropriate architectural possibilities with the local council, in favor of a lower profile building that will be set into the landscape.
Today, the house itself is not the subject of concern. Today we are here to address a much more significant situation.
Much in the same way that Cristoforo Colombo and Amerigo Vespucci declared The Americas in the name of their royal benefactors by sidestepping the small issue of native inhabitants, we too shall be inheriting this earth from a prior owner whose voice is too foreign and whose weapons are too small to protest.
We were’t even aware of his existence at first. It was on one of our trips to the site to take some measurements that I first noticed evidence of his activity.
(Side note: Am I the only one who had to dissect owl pellets in high school? We had to reassemble the little skeletons that we found. Ew. The primary skill I gained from that exercise was being able to identify owl pellets.)
Turning my head up from this find, I spotted a slight movement in the chimney of our new old house.
Upon closer inspection, we have identified our new friend and named him: ‘Guido the Gufo’. He is the resident tawny owl (“allocco” in Italian) who has been watching over this land for probably many years.
Our approach is this: We have taken his land without asking, and we are now responsible for his well being. Ergo, henceforth (why the heck do the mention of early explorers make me use words like “ergo” and “henceforth”?!), we shall be actively exploring solutions for Guido’s healthy and happy relocation to a nearby tree with the hopes that the construction site activity will not drive him away completely.
We have some time to work with, as we won’t be ready to start the construction site until after a lengthy design process and Sopraintendenza approval. For now, we are collecting information from websites like “Nest Boxes for Tawny Owls“, and the Wiki entry for Strix Aluco, in the hopes of gaining some insight into the proper relocation of Guido the Gufo.
If any of my dear readers have any advice, please do forward it along. My dad, an amateur experienced birdwatcher himself, has been sending me some links. But we’d love to chat with someone who has done this before.
It’s been a while since I’ve written a post that falls more on the serious side than the sarcastic, mocking side of life in Italy. What are your reactions? Dis you find it interesting? Did you like it?