Helleborines in the Cansiglio

The Cansiglio upland hosts one of the richest community of orchids in the North-eastern Italy, with more than 40 species reported, from the thermofil foothills to the alpine meadows of higher altitudes.

I’ve been there at the beginning of August, at the end of orchid blooming season,

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Spectacular Passo Valparola

I’ve been to the Valparola pass in order to look for the rare False orchid (Chamorchis alpina) and the very beautiful Silky ringlet (Erebia gorge), but I was surprised by the number of interesting other species I’ve found there!

The pass lies in Belluno province, inside the Dolomiti d’Ampezzo Natural Park, and reaches the 2192m, connecting the Badia valley with the Falzarego pass and Cortina d’Ampezzo.

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Alpine wildlife in the Passo Pordoi

With 2,239 m of altitudes the Pordoi pass is one of the most known pass in the Dolomites (Dolomiti) and connects Arabba with the Val di Fassa. It is a typical climb of the “Giro d’Italia”, the famous Italian cyclism race, but can be also a great place where taste the best of alpine wildlife.

The beginning of summer is probably the best time of year to go there:

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Biowatching in the Catinaccio/Rosengarten

The group of mountains known with the name of Catinaccio in Italian and Rosengarten in German hosts some of the best scenaries of the Dolomites. The highest peak reaches the 3,002 m, but probably the most photogenic rocks are the Torri del Violet (2,821 m), 7 pinnacles of vertical dolomite. The area arround the range includes a number of valleys and slopes with screes, alpine meadows and conifer woodlands with an interesting biodiversity.

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In the land of “tilaventina” Bee-orchid

The “tilaventina”¬†form of Common Bee-orchid (Ophrys apifera) is particular variety, usually defined as a “lusus” (= “joke” in Latin), that can be locally find only in Italy in few places of Lombardy, Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia. I went to see them along the Piave riverbed, in Treviso province, where there are some very promising dry meadows. Continue reading “In the land of “tilaventina” Bee-orchid”

In the Fagagna wet meadows

North-eastern Italian lowland hosts only a few residual patches of peat bogs and wet meadows: they are some of the remaining fragments of the ancestral Po valley, survived to the spread of agriculture and to the recent aggressive overbuilding. Their ancient origin has allowed some amazing living beings to survive till recent times in these rare and precious micro-habitats.

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A Capercaillie on the Monte Grappa

The Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) is a rare species in Italy, with a distribution that spreads from northern Lombardy to most of the eastern Alps ranges. Even if now completelly protected, it is still decreasing in number, expecially on the southern edge of its distribution, supposely because of climate changes. In this situation can happen that lonely males, without the possibility to find easily a female, loose their fear of humans and get very agressive against almost every creature they meet, becoming truly like mad.

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