Tag Archives: Pigs

Wild pig with a mango

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘From Your Window.’ See more responses here.

There’s a very large mango tree in the yard, which is an erratic producer of fruit. Some years, there’s not much. Other years, the tree looks like an overdecorated Christmas tree. In those times, it’s best not to spend much time under the tree, particularly when it’s windy, because the thud of fruit hitting the ground is frequent (though, standing under that tree is risky any time, since large branches are prone to breaking off).

When fruit does start to fall, wild pigs move in. There are always windfalls available and the pigs love this easily-accessed treat. The pig population around here varies, mostly depending on whether hunters are active in the area. Pigs are nocturnal, so do most of their foraging at night, but the younger ones are more likely to venture out in daylight hours, either because they haven’t yet learned how dangerous that is, or because it’s harder for them to get a look-in when the big pigs are around.

This year, there have been as many as nine pigs in the yard at one time, but this younger pig was out by itself. As there were quite a few mangos on the ground, it was being quite choosy as to which ones to eat. Hard ones will be shunned, unless that’s all there is. This mango was just right, and the pig was tucking in until something disturbed it and it ran off, but not without its prize.

Mostly the pigs are a source of entertainment and don’t bother me. The exception is when they roam past the bedroom window in the middle of the night and get into arguments, grunting and squealing. They also have a very ripe smell, which drifts in through the open window. Fortunately, they’re easy to disperse. I just do my large, angry dog impersonation, consisting of a few loud barks, and they disappear like they’ve been shot out of a cannon.

Three little pigs

This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Something Good.’ See more responses here.

These three little pigs have been my top source of entertainment over the last couple of weeks. They’ve been regular visitors, looking for fallen mangoes and tangerines, or just foraging for worms and the like in the grass. The littlest pig seems the most adept at finding things and, when it does, the others try and get a piece of the action. Usually the littlest pig runs off with its trophy and the others chase it.

A couple of days ago they met Hopalong, a rooster thinking about making the yard his territory. Usually, when a rooster does that, I make a point of ushering it away every time it shows up and eventually it gives up. But Hopalong has a bad foot and doesn’t get around well, so he’s reluctant to move on. He wasn’t sure what to make of these pigs trotting toward him, so he retreated into the neighbor’s yard, looking affronted.

The three little pigs are easily spooked, scooting into the cane grass at the least disturbance. I think that’s where they live. I ventured in there one day and saw three little houses, one made of straw, another of sticks, and a third of bricks. I was going to investigate more, but I heard a low growling noise followed by some huffing and puffing, so thought better of it.

Also posted in response to Becky’s April Squares challenge theme of ‘Top.’ See more responses here.

Piglet

I saw this piglet wandering through a cow pasture. It is likely the offspring of a feral pig, but there were no other pigs around. At this size and age, it would probably still have been drawing on its mother’s milk. Instead, it was grubbing through cow pies in search of worms and bugs.

I didn’t see it again, but I suspect it will be lucky to survive very long.

Pig dig

Pig Digging

Pig DiggingsOn an early morning hike at Pu’u Wa’awa’a, I saw this wild pig on the hillside above me. It was busy rooting around in the dirt, hence the brown snout. Wild pigs can do an enormous amount of damage in their foraging. The photo at right shows one of many areas alongside the trail that has been dug up by pigs. These areas are susceptible to erosion when it rains.

I was glad the pig was a ways up the hill as the other damage they can do is to people who get too close. Given the size of this one, I suspect I’d have come off second best.

A wild pig runs off at Pu'u Wa'awa'a on the Big Island of Hawaii

Wild pig running

A wild pig runs off at Pu'u Wa'awa'a on the Big Island of Hawaii

Wild pigs are widespread on the Big Island. I saw this one on a hike up Pu’u Wa’awa’a. I’d been taking photos and when I turned around, the pig was ambling into some tall grass leading to a shallow gulley bordering the trail. It didn’t seem at all bothered by my presence which it must surely have registered.

A few moments later, I saw it still headed in the same direction, still taking its time. I hurried up the trail trying to make as little noise as possible, and keeping an eye out toward the area where I thought the pig must be. I hadn’t gone too far when I reached a place where I could see that the gulley ended and, assuming it hadn’t moved faster than I thought, the pig would have to emerge into view. I hoped then I could get a photo or two.

I saw and heard nothing so I edged around trying to see into the gulley. I caught a glimpse of movement, then nothing. There was no point going into the gulley myself. I’d lose my vantage point and the pig would surely disappear before I saw it. The alternative was, if it was a boar, it might charge me. So I held my ground, looking and waiting.

Nothing in my proximity or activity changed, but at some point the pig panicked. It’s previous sangfroid was temporarily replaced by the high-strung nervousness of a racehorse. It shot out of the grass, racing back the way it came. When it came to the metal gate I’d just passed through, it clanged into it, squeezed between two bars, and carried on as before. When it finally disappeared into some bushes, it was a good 200 yards away, and still traveling as though making the final turn at the Kentucky Derby.

A wild pig snacks on fallen mangoes

A wild pig snacks on mangoes

A wild pig snacks on fallen mangoesA wild pig that has been eating fallen mangoes

If yesterday’s post was a hog in name only, today’s is the real thing.

It’s mango season again. While the tree in the yard isn’t quite as bountiful as last year, it’s still dropping mangoes often enough to make me cringe when I walk under its canopy. I try to pick up the fruit on a daily basis, but don’t always succeed. Not that it remains on the ground long.

Fallen mangoes are a draw to numerous birds, which can be seen pecking away most times I look out of the window. And, of course, the wild pigs love them. They usually visit overnight and all I see of their visit is a littering of chewed mango pits.

This pig was an early morning visitor, but still around well after sunrise. When I saw it, I got my camera, eased out of the back door, and started snapping. I never know how creatures will react to my presence. Some, such as grey francolins, scurry off as soon as they think something’s going on. This pig, on the other hand, didn’t seem too bothered, snuffling her way across the yard in my direction until she looked me in the eye and decided enough was enough, scooting through the hedge into the neighbor’s yard.

Notice, in the photo to the left, the mango lipstick on the pig.

A wild pig forages for food on the Big Island

Wild pig

A wild pig forages for food on the Big IslandA wild pig snacks on a mango on the Big Island
There’s a sizeable wild pig population on the Big Island and they can be both problematic and dangerous. A while back, a local woman was attacked by a boar in her garden. She got seriously gored as well as having her leg broken.

This one was puttering around the yard in the early morning, snacking on fallen mangoes. It took him a while to notice me, but when he did, he took off at speed.

The numbers around here have dropped since hunters began making regular visits and when I do hear the pigs moving about, they’re being a good deal more cautious than they used to be.

A wild pig on the Big Island