It is HOT here in Liguria and we are well into what I always think of as our fifth season – high summer.

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Our terrace garden is full of tropical flowers and stunning Hibiscus and the geckos that populate the stone walls come out to sunbathe. At night these squidgy little creatures run around the terrace walls and the indoor ceilings gobbling up mosquitoes and sleepy spiders and when the evenings are hot the cicadas sing until dawn.

The young swallows hatched in nests in our buildings dash around together showing off their flying prowess and at noon and again at about 4pm swoop down to drink in the pool brazenly dive bombing anyone taking a dip!

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After every welcome shower of rain, and we have been fortunate to have a few this month, the olives on the trees swell a little more.

My main concern during this period is forest fire. The grass is dry and it only takes one spark. There has only been one bad fire in the six years we have lived here and that was in the valley next to ours. Throughout the groves there are small reservoirs of water kept clear and available for the Vigili del Fuoco – the firewatchers.

It is true to say no-one especially the dogs, who are flat out during the day, is doing very much. The only time there seems to be any movement in the valley is at dawn when gardening is possible.

I love to get up early to water the terraces and to let the dogs race around enjoying the cool air before the sun comes up over the hills.

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This is when I know I truly live in paradise.

Nudo & Bestagno Farm Owner