Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Backlogs and Progress: Piggins

There are wild pigs in these parts.  A fair number too.  The adults, known as "Sangliers" are big, and hairy, and kind of terrifying should you see them at the time of year when they have their young 'uns with them.  (We did have such an encounter one night while driving next to a forested area, and while I was overloaded by how cute the babies are... I was simultaneously terrified that the boar, who was staring us down, was going to charge.)  I had no camera with me that night, but just to give you an idea of the cuteness, here is a baby sanglier, known as a "marcassin".

(Not my photo - yoinked from a google image search.)

We happened upon the two parents with babies at the end of April, and there were no more sanglier-sightings after.  Until the day before yesterday!

We were driving by a set of "boules" (this is a location where people drop off their glass items for recycling...normally situated just outside of residential areas,) when I noticed a little gang of pigs gathered behind them!  Very excitedly I told Boyfriend he HAD to turn around so I could do a little pig-watching.

These guys are probably less than 2 years old.  Wikipedia informs me that Sangliers only travel in groups like this when they are young, and live fairly solitary lives once they are adults.


You can tell they are young as well because the adults are bigger in the shoulder.  And more intimidating.


Adults also have (very scary) protruding canine teeth - these guys didn't.  I was still secretly worried they might charge the car at some point though.


They really didn't seem to mind us at all though, they were too busy with their bag of spoils (someone tried to hide a bag of garbage behind the boules, tsk tsk.)


Hamburger!


The guy at the top had something the others wanted.


Fuzzy piggies.

It's true that my pictures are not at all ace.  Truth be told, after seeing the full-grown male boar on our first encounter, and seeing the posture he took as we slowed down our car to look at him and his babies (he was seriously sizing up the car,) I find adult Sangliers pretty scary, and I'm sure my hands were shaking a little as I tried to snap a few pictures of the ones we spotted at the boules.  They were bordering the edge of cute & scary.  What do I mean by scary?  Hmm - I know some people get scared over little things, so -> here is why I find Sangliers terrifying.  The adults are, well...  I'm going to use other people's photos (marked below with a *) to explain this...


*... big.  This is just the beginning of what I mean by "big."

*Bigger still, good shot of the scary teeth. (Did you know they can crush bones with their jaws?)

*eep.

Imagine running into one of these things in the forest?  It's why I never run in the forest with my ipod on here, because I want to be sure to hear if anything else but me is rustling the leaves on the ground.  Even the smaller ones can cause a fair amount of damage, and there is even special car-insurance for accidents involving Sangliers, not to mention road-signs warning drivers to be on the lookout.


Fortunately, they are mainly nocturnal...
...mainly.

If only they would stay tiny and stripey and cute, everything would be fine.  I'd keep one and call him Herman, or Chase, or Pigface or something.  Or, maybe not.

And now, the morning comic-read that prompted my decision to clear this bit of backlog today:

1 comment:

Laura and Ben said...

OMG! I had no idea these things were so BIG! I always thought they were just cute little furry piggies with big teeth. Yeah, I imagined them to be smaller tan pigs - I feel cheated.

Chitika