Julian Alps, Slovenia

This entry addresses a portion of the Julian Alps in the far north of Slovenia, especially around Lake Bohinj, Lake Bled and Vintgar Gorge. This area is part of the Pannonian Mixed Forests ecoregion, which spans a broader alpine extent covering parts of Hungary, Austria and Croatia. There are conifer and broadleaf trees that dominate the higher elevations where the forests are well preserved, with canopies typically twenty to twenty five meetres high. The lower elevations are chiefly mixed broadleaf forests, with Lime, Elm, Horse chestnut, Manna ash and Downy oak in high proportion. Lower levels such as the base elevation of Lake Bohinj and Lake Bled also feature wildflower riven meadows, where beekeepers assist the pollination process. (There are 10,000 beekeepers in Slovenia, or one out of every 200 people!)

Lake Bohinj is the jewel of the region, with numerous hiking trails through pristine forests around the lake perieter and up the northern gorges where inflow feeds the lake. The mid May wildflower bloom is spectacular, no dBoubt aided by the beekeeping industry. Lake Bled is pleasant and well marketed, but Bohinj is far superior from the standpoint of fewer people and ore nature; one can visit nearby Lake Bled after dark for some dining or other tourist culture. Besides the qbundance of plants and avifauna at Lake Bohinj, the landscape scenery is spectacular, with dramatic limestone cliffs constrasting the verdant forests; the two toned green forests are particularly attractive, with broadleaf stands of light green contrasting with the darker green coniferous stands.

A visit to one of the best beekeepers was worthwhile, providing insights not only to the regional techniques for their craft, but also getting a first hand understanding of the areal extent that a large hive operation can support for pollination...a radius of up to several kilometres, that typically includes both forests and meadows. The beekeepers can actually speciate the honey composition by dominant forest tree in bloom at each part of the season. One can also sample these different nuances of honey flavours, including pollen embedded honey. Needless to say, the meadows around beekeepers are rich in wildflower observations with many Trifolium, Orchidaceae, and numerous Asteraceae taxa.

At Lake Bled there are two worthwhile stops: (1) the touristy and pricey boat trip to the island, where one will see a Mute swan or two nesting, and observe many flowering shrubs, wildflowers and trees; and (2) The former Tito estate, now known as Vila Bled. The latter sports several walking trails on the moderately steep and rocky areas, that provide ecological niches for many ferns, lichens, mosses, coniferous trees and other woody shrubs and wildflowers. Birdlife is also abundant at Tito's palace and around the lake in general.

A hike up the Vintgar Gorge is rewarding for its sheer scenic qualities as rapids carve ever deeper canyons through the limestone. The trail is mostly a boardwalk that allows you winding access through the lower parts of the gorge, so that you will be quite clise to the river for most of the hike. You tread close to the dripping liestone walls, which provide niches for a variety of ferns, mosses and flowering plants that are water-loving. The waterfall is stated as the destination, but it is uninspiring with its manmade ledge and unnatural aspect. Best spend time tarrying along the trail than trying to reach the waterfall if time is precious.

Lähettänyt c_michael_hogan c_michael_hogan, 23. toukokuuta 2017 06:04

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Ilta-Ailakki (Silene latifolia)

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c_michael_hogan

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Toukokuu 11, 2017 03:03 PM PDT

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Piukkasara (Carex elata)

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c_michael_hogan

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Toukokuu 11, 2017 03:19 PM PDT

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Thia clumpgrass was growing on a micro island near the eastern edge of Lake Bled

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Risarustojäkälä (Ramalina farinacea)

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c_michael_hogan

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Toukokuu 11, 2017 05:29 PM PDT

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On a living tree trunk

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Lehtokuusama (Lonicera xylosteum)

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c_michael_hogan

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Toukokuu 11, 2017 05:29 PM PDT

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On river bank, this woody shrub in bloom is 139 cm high

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c_michael_hogan

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Toukokuu 11, 2017 04:58 PM PDT

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c_michael_hogan

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Toukokuu 11, 2017 04:45 PM PDT

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Keltamo (Chelidonium majus)

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c_michael_hogan

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Toukokuu 12, 2017 11:08 AM PDT

Tunnisteet

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Metsäkuusi (Picea abies)

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c_michael_hogan

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Toukokuu 12, 2017 01:19 PM PDT

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Villaleinikki (Ranunculus lanuginosus)

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c_michael_hogan

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Toukokuu 12, 2017 01:41 PM PDT

Tunnisteet

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c_michael_hogan

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Toukokuu 12, 2017 01:42 PM PDT

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Kalliokielo (Polygonatum odoratum)

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Toukokuu 12, 2017 01:43 PM PDT

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c_michael_hogan

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Toukokuu 12, 2017 01:45 PM PDT

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Shady slope

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c_michael_hogan

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Toukokuu 12, 2017 01:46 PM PDT

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The subject iis the oak lleaf

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Tummaraunioinen (Asplenium trichomanes)

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Toukokuu 12, 2017 01:53 PM PDT

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In a garden wall, growing wild

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Kyhmyjoutsen (Cygnus olor)

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Toukokuu 12, 2017 02:48 PM PDT

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Atop her nest near the shore of the island in Lake Bled.

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Puna-Ampiainen (Vespula rufa)

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Toukokuu 12, 2017 05:08 PM PDT

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Wasp pollinating in the gorge

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Piikkihärkylä (Polystichum aculeatum)

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c_michael_hogan

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Toukokuu 12, 2017 05:14 PM PDT

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Gorge lower sidewall

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Tikankontti (Cypripedium calceolus)

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c_michael_hogan

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Toukokuu 2017

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Puuttuva sijainti

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