February 2007 we travelled to the Bavarian National Forest with Vic Sharratt.
There was a group of us, all excited to what we will see and capture.
I was really excited for the fact that it had been snowing , and that would look great in the photographs! It had snowed, snowing a couple times whilst we were there and I even had chance to make a couple of snow angels lol…
We stayed at a quaint large cabin among the trees. The Hotel we stayed in was in a town called Grafenau, run by a lovely couple, so hospitable and made our stay very warm and welcoming. Ive got to mention that they had the best honey I have ever tasted!
The hotel was slightly up in the hills so we had great view and there were so many birds, and that was just by standing outside their house. Love the sound of nature!
The roads were very up and down and windy with continuous beautiful forests along either side of the road and couple sheer drops. With the ice and snow at times the driving was a bit hairy lol!
But thats what adventures are all about, getting home safe and reminiscing.
We went to a couple of national parks, main one being the Bavarian Forest National Park, Nationalpark Bayerischer Wald.
A little bit of information for you; Bavarian Forest, Bohemian Forest, Šumava are differing names for one and the same ancient mountainous region in central Europe, the use varying according to cultural, geographical or historical reference. A mighty bulwark of hard gneiss and granite rock, it divides Bavaria from Bohemia and the catchment area of the Danube from that of the Vltava. State and linguistic borders between Germany and the Czech Republic run along its main ridge, as does the boundary between the Bavarian Forest and Šumava National Parks.
The landscape with its rounded and long mountain domes, the gently climbing slopes, plateau-like heights and hollow-like valleys are evidence of a long history of weathering and shaping through the ice ages.
The other park where we visited was the Lusen National Park Centre. Under a thick canopy of central Europe’s deciduous forests and very little energy rich food can grow as sunlight is scarce, too little to sustain a large and varied animal kingdom.
In addition wild animals are difficult to observe in their natural forests with their rich vegetation. As a result a 200 hectare animal park with large landscaped enclosures and ovaries was established. They have 45 native species, which also enables their activity and ecological significance in the mountain forest to be observed as keeping animals in enclosures is not a direct nature conservation task of the national park. However, as part of the decision to establish the first german national park it was agreed that large enclosures enabled the presentation of important animal species in mountain forests should be established as a visitor attraction. It is a 7km long circular trail full of beautiful lush trees, vegetation, and great mosey rocks which presented us with great natural backgrounds for us artists to draw.
We was lucky to get the bear stroll down among parts of snow which was a lovely surprise!
We also caught sight of the wolves, their natural behaviour and got some great photographs of them!
The lynx were also amazing as even though at quite a distance, they both had a little confrontation! I had my Sigma 50-500 all ready for this trip so I at least hoped for couple captures that be good to work from. The one problem did find was with a large range, it naturally cut out light so with the poor light we had did push the skills and knowledge of my camera lol…
Sometimes it is too easy to get stuck behind the camera, as if like myself, one replies on these photos to draw from, but one has to take it in with our eyes, senses too. Taking it all in, the smells, the cold air, snow flakes lightly touching your face with the amazing scenery and landscape in the snow was quite something. Especially when the sun did show, highlighting the colours of the trees with the white snow against the blue skies.
During the trip I also got chance to photograph an array of birdlife, even the beautiful lil crested tit! We also saw moose, bears, the awesome ancient bison, wild stoats, lynx, wolves, rabbits, goats with their kids, deer, reindeer, pine martens, donkeys, wild cats, red fox and the local ginger tabby.
I have drawn quite a few from this trip already but I have lots more to draw so keep an eye out!
Hope you enjoy the photo’s…