Elba is the largest island in the Arcipelago Toscano and lies just 10 km far from the coast of Tuscany. The vicinity with the continent, together with size, influenced its biodiversity making the island the most complex ecosystem of all the arcipelago. Orchids are present with more than 40 species, but they are also particularly threated. Continue reading “Blooms of orchids on Elba island”
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,
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.
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:
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.
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”
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.