Friday 18 August 2017

God save the Queen!

Yesterday we made another incursion into the Julian Alps to pay a tribute to the Queen of the Alps - the Alpine eryngo Eryngium alpinum (or Alpine sea holly). In the vicinity of Mt. Črna prst we came across a breathtaking spectacle: entire slopes covered with patches of silver and blue. We estimated something like 800-1000 specimen; they were everywhere! Not only is Alpine eryngo a very rare species (see here), it is also one of the most beautiful in the European flora. This plant is so unique that you simply cannot be impassible in front of it!
Moreover we also enjoyed at some typical mountain wildlife: we flushed 3 Black Grouse Tetrao tetrix (1 m, 2 f), seen two Alpine Chamois Rupicapra rupicapra, 1 Alpine Marmot Marmota marmota and a Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus. Other wildflowers were thin on the ground as the season is coming to an end, but the Queen alone was enough to make the trip worth!