The press conference was a nice opportunity to tell the Czech media about the Wild Wonders of Europe project and also about my mission here. The Press Department of the Ministry of Environment are doing a great job, translating everything and contacting the rest of the media. Really friendly and warm.
Prague is a nice town. My friend Tomás took me there for a couple of hours to show me some spots – too many spots even for a week. Everything there looks magnificent and big.
One day in the car - 2 hours to Prague, 1 hour to get in to town. And the same back; a nice journey with plenty of new things and experiences. No pictures today.
20th September. Cloudy again!
A friendly ranger picked me up at 9am and took me deep into the park, near the German border, to a place called Hadi Pramen. All these days it has been cloudy and I’m missing all the open landscapes. When it is cloudy or rainy there’s not much to do, so I go to the rivers.
The track today has been very hard, muddy, high angles to climb, and lots of weight with me… but the experience is great. Walking alone every day for ten or more hours in those Bohemian forests makes you feel like an explorer. With the rain - when you find something of interest, it takes time to get things ready; out of the backpack, keeping everything dry, preparing the equipment, flashes, diffusers. When it rains everything slows down.
The landscape on this route hasn’t given me many chances, so I have done lots of macro. There was a small feather stuck to a fungus by a raindrop, and that touched me, because everything was perfect for a photo. Click. No need for flash this time.
I found some workers cutting trees with noisy saws and carrying the wood. I have taken some pictures. They took away ill trees to prevent a beetle pest. As the trees are not native to the Park, they then plan to reforest with native species, like Fagus and Oaks.
A larch cone fallen in the moss has given me great joy, as there was contrast and colour. Strange people, us photographers… A small portion of wildlife can take us to heaven.
The riverside wasn’t accessible from the Czech side. So, no river pictures today. Instead, some big trees were along the track and gave me some good hopes.
21st September. Not only cloudy, raining heavily!
No chance for giving up. Raincoat, rain cover for the camera, and also for the backpack. Let’s get wet. I caught a bus at 8am to Kijov and have been walking all day up and down the Krinice river. Beautiful name by the way (it reminds me of Queen Krimilda from Siegfried and the Nibelung´s ring), and also beautiful riversides. More than a river, the Krinice is a stream, much smaller than the Kamenice. I have crossed it in several directions looking for the picture. At a place called Vinny Sklep, some rocks fallen from an eroded hilltop have formed something looking like a bridge or a cave, where the river passes by. I was there for hours. One picture, dry the lens, another one, same operation. Very slow, but very rewarding.
I have spent a good time surrounded by ferns and water, alone in wildlife again, experiencing the solitude… how the call of a Goshawk can fill our souls. Then I entered the forests up the hillside. No plain surfaces here. All the forests are up and down the hills, veeeery healthy.
I see very few wild animals, so no chances. I’ll keep on with the landscape, which is hard work as well, at least under these weather conditions.
Tomorrow is my last day here. At 8.30am Tomás will come and pick me up as we have planned to go with Mr. Sojka for some different sights. Hope it will be sunny.
Please note that blogs reflect our photographers' opinions and not necessarily those of the directors of Wild Wonders of Europe.