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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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October 06, 2010

The Great Truffle Hunt Saga, Part II - The Hunt (with flora and one fauna thrown in)...

On to the hunt!!   The three of us arrived at the meeting place in ample time which was a nice feeling, and we  didn't have to wait long for the man (Saverio) from Tartufi Bianconi, our delightful interpreter, Cecelia, and the other lady (Terri from Los Angeles) to arrive.  Then (after our tour of Citerna) we all trooped off to the "woods" to meet up with the dog and his partner.  The woods within a gated and locked fence and are the property of Tartufi Bianconi.  Truffle hunting areas are always kept under lock and key!

 So here we have Saverio, Jon Piero, and I think the dog's name was Agiara or something close (and I'm sure Jon isn't spelled like that!)

It wasn't very long at all before Agiara had snuffled her first truffle (I realized after the hunt that those two words were meant to work together!)  She ate the first one which is not supposed to happen and for a while she kind of had to be held back each time she found one, but after enough doggie treats for each find, she finally settled into being the great truffle hunter she undoubtedly is.  This picture is probably at least her second dig when Jon Piero was keeping a close watch on her.


It's amazing how the dog sniffs them out and I wondered why she wouldn't continue to think she should stay at a spot where she found one since it would still smell (truffles are very smelly), but she doesn't.  Once it's out of the ground, she's moving on.

 Here's a nice-sized one...

Jon Piero explained that every hunter has his own spade and that he had made his.  When the truffles aren't right under the surface (which a lot of ours were), the spade is used to get them up, so he would get the spade positioned and then had each of us "dig" one up.

Me and my truffle...

Jane and her truffle with Terri in the background

And Terri and her truffle - don't know why I didn't get one of Betty Lou with her truffle...

Here's one lying "in situ" waiting to plucked up.

Here's a truffle "in situ" - the really black, nubbly lump...

We did very, very well - well, I guess actually Agiara did. :)  And there's Betty Lou - on the right.

And this is looking into the truffle bag at our "haul" - not bad at all!

And that was basically it.  It was a beautiful day for such an outing and I think we all really enjoyed it.  And I ended up taking as many or more pictures of the various things growing around us as I did of the hunt which is why I'm just adding them all here at the end of this post.  I can't really tell you much about any of these, but I like keeping pictures of plants that I see in my travels, so here's what I saw during the hunt.

First off, here's my one fauna (actually taken in Citerna, not during the hunt)

 It's not easy being green, but he seems to be doing pretty well at it!

You can barely tell, but the slightly yellowish, beige-ish bits are mushrooms - there were all kinds here.

 And some nifty mosses too, although I don't know that anything this lacy would really be a moss...


And another one - and it really was this bright yellow.




 Like I said, lots of different mushroom varieties...

 A ferny type ground cover...



And Trebianno white grapes - never did see white grapes on the vine last year or yet this year.

No more to say here, really - just my "album" of plant pictures.

5 comments:

Christopher said...

That sure looks like an impressive haul of truffles! And quite a collection of mushrooms, too. Nice close-ups!

January said...

Looks like you guys left with plenty of black gold in the bag :) I'm a little disappointed that they didn't use a truffle hunting pig, but the pup sure is a sweet-looking dog.
I LOVE the picture of the ... grasshopper? ... mantis? Whatever that bug is - nice job! Also, that one mushroom makes me feel like I'm twelve because all I can think is that it looks like a mushroom butt and then I giggle.
xox

vrmichie said...

You're looking mighty cute and perky with your truffle! And happy! Very good to see plus the pics are good too. We're back from our excursion to Storm King with lots of our own pics and I'm just catching up with yours so more another day. I hope you do go back to Citerna -- it does look charming. xoxo

jfalls said...

I sure was glad to see a pic of you! And your friends seem really nice. Love the stories you share about your host and how helpful she was. Makes you realize the world still has nice people! Sure hope the truffles taste better than they look - I would venture to say they look like a dropping of some type! :)
Have fun and see you soon!

Love ya,
J

Hi! said...

Hi all - someone asked (not here apparently) if we got to keep the truffles and that's a big NO. It even says in their program information that they keep the truffles. But they certainly were generous in their use of fresh truffles and their truffle products for our dining pleasure so I was more than happy to let them have the one I dug up (after the dog found it and Jon Piero placed the spade!)

And, dear sister, what is Storm King? Sounds like a place that sells storm windows but since you came back with a bunch of pictures I imagine it's probably something else. (tee hee)

January, I'm glad you got a giggle from the double mushroom - I hadn't thought of that, but you're right, that's pretty much what it looks like!

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