In the Cansiglio plateau after a snowfall

The “Altopiano del Cansiglio” is a plateau characterized by a frequent thermal inversion, the natural phenomenon that causes colder temperatures at lower altitudes, usually in the bottom of valleys, than at higher altitudes, like mountains and peaks. That’s the reason that makes the Cansiglio one of the coldest places in Italy during winter season, with an impressive record of -35°C reported in 2005 at only 900 m of altitude!

The scenaries, after an abundant snowfall, can be truly fantastic.

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In the main plain, there were few signs of life, with just some cold birds: 1 Kestrel, 1 White Wagtail, few Coal and Crested Tits, some Carrion and Hooded Crows, 2-3 tens of Italian Sparrows (Passer italiae), some Chaffinches and a lonely Linnet.

The best observation have been an herd of Red Deers (Cervus elaphus) grazing on the few clears of grass where the snow got melted by the sun.

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So I moved to the val Menera, the area where usually it’s possible to observe the largest number of ungulates. The mountains and forests around were amazingly covered by white.

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Also here there were no signs of life but the presence of 21 Fallow Deers (Dama dama) on a sunny slope.

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Even the far bottom of the valley was magically empty, pervaded by an unreal silence.

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Without big subjecs for photography, I focused on details: the frozen hairs of an horse on a wire…

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…or the few emerging steams.

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On the way back home, the beech forest in the warm sunset light was magnificent!

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Luca Boscain

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