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Yesterday Angela and I toddled down to her beach to enjoy some unexpectedly fine sunshine and to dangle our feet in the rather chilly sea. As we chatted about this and that we watched a couple of men fishing for octopus.

The gear they used was real DIY material. A thick piece of cardboard, about the size of a shirt cardboard, around which was wrapped a good bit of nylon filament. Their method was to throw the baited line out as far as they could, and then reel it in, ever hopeful that they would find an octopus firmly attached to the bait. We watched for an hour or so, but none of the resident octopi obliged, and our friends left disappointedly empty-handed.

Here is Paolo, pulling in his line.  You would think he’d end up with a hopeless snarl of nylon, but he never did.

Paolo  hunting octopus

And this is Giuseppe, showing off the bait: a chicken’s foot!  Evidently it is irresistible to an octopus.

Giuseppe and octopus bait

Paolo spent some time giving Giuseppe instruction in the finer points of octopus fishing as they prepared to try their luck in a different spot:

Paolo gives Giuseppe direction

There is a beautiful fountain across the street from the castello which, happily for me, was in operation the day we met Paolo and Giuseppe.  It was dry for much of the summer, but whatever the problem was, it seems to have been fixed, as you can see:

il polipo-002

Thanks to IFLS I learned that today is World Octopus Day. This poster will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about octopuses (click on it it see it larger). What it fails to mention is how absolutely delicious octopus is, especially when served in the Ligurian style with boiled potatoes.

octopus_infographic1

Poster credit: National Aquarium, Baltimore

Photo credit: Giallo Zaffarano

Photo credit: Giallo Zaffarano

Happy World Octopus Day everyone!