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Claudia Müller - Pollino National Park, Italy III

August 20th, 2009 Posted in Southern Europe, Uncategorized

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One of the most important aspects of our mission in Italy’s biggest National Park is to create a portrait of the century old pine trees of the Monte Pollino and Serra Dolcedorme. Every tree has a unique shape created by winds and very distinctive bark. Their roots meander like snakes deep in between the rocks. The mountains’ dead peaks stretch into the sky like bizarre, grey sculptures.
We had to abandon our first attempts to photograph these ancient giants of the Monte Pollino at an altitude of 1800 metres. The snow was too deep causing us to sink and making the path along the steep slope of the mountain impassable. The disappointment of having to give up so close to our destination was immense. But the weather improved and the temperature rose day after day. We watched the patches of snow covering the peaks getting smaller from the valley. It was time for us to start a new attempt.

12th May 2009, airport in Naples – We are waiting for the departure of our flight to Berlin. We are tired but we have all memory cards full with images in our luggage. Two days earlier we finally reached the pine trees of the Monte Pollino on our last trip to the mountains and we managed to take a few images. Standing underneath these giants is a breathtaking experience and I wish I was able to talk to them… With the arrival of dusk we began our descent to lower altitudes. The mountain meadows glowed with the blue of Alpine squills in the last light of day, creating a magic mood. We spent our last evening at the peak of the Timpone Viggiantello. Below us lay the wide landscape influenced by human life in the last light of day, the many roads, the small and big settlements and the overgrown slopes of the mountains. The landscape had changed its colour in the past days. A raven rode a thermal watching over its territory. The wind carried the cry of the cuckoo over the land. In a few days time the landscape will be alive with hundreds of checkered lilies. This is one of the spectacles that we will not experience on this trip. Maybe next time. During the last days of our stay Giuseppe took school classes to explore the area. It is our task to preserve nature’s small and big wonders for future generations and to open their eyes and hearts to their beauty.
In summary: My pictures reflect a few of the many aspects of the Pollino National Park. Some I did not expect to find there like this. They represent a few pieces of the jigsaw making up the whole image. The more I engage with nature, the more time I spend in one place, and the more aspects I discover, the less able I feel to capture the diversity of nature in my photos. They will always only be representations of fleeting moments. Start discovering one of Europe’s wild wonders. It will be worth your while as a journey full of surprises is ahead.

Thank You: GITZO for the great camera stand. It was a safe and stable companion to me in turbulent waters, slippery mud and steep slopes. I am also grateful for the wonderful, weatherproof GITZO jacket with its countless pockets, in which I did not only keep my lenses, filters, memory cards, rechargeable batteries and note books but also my rations of wine gums.
To Silko for the morning coffees, the motivation and for carrying my equipment around for many hours.
To Sandra and all my friends at home who supported us on our journey by wishing us well – I am looking forward to future adventures together!
… and last but not least Guiseppe for accommodating us, the warm fire and the good old Singer sewing machine oil to revive the ball head of my camera stand.
Many Thanks: to Julia & Dana- your are two phantastic girls ;-)

Claudia Müller / Wild Wonders of Europe

Please note that blogs reflect our photographers' opinions and not necessarily those of the directors of Wild Wonders of Europe.

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  1. 7 Responses to “Claudia Müller - Pollino National Park, Italy III”

  2. By Conor on Aug 20, 2009

    great pictures

  3. By Brian Camilleri on Feb 28, 2010

    I will be visiting the parco del pollino in April. It would be interesting to go up the peak of Monte Pollino. Can you please tell me if it is easy to walk up to the peak during this time of the year (because of snow)?

  4. By Birch Photographers - Michigan on May 29, 2010

    Wonderful photography! I’ve don research on the Italian national parks, because they are somewhere I’ve always longed to visit. Reading through your post was like taking a quick trip there! My favorite photo was the sleepy-looking fox. Great job!

  5. By Birch Photographers - Michigan on May 29, 2010

    I’ve always longed to visit Italy’s national parks. While reading your post, I was able to travel there, if only for a moment. Great photography and marvelous capturing of the essence of this wonderful destination! My favorite photo is the sleepy fox.

  6. By Birch Photographers - Michigan on May 29, 2010

    oops - didn’t mean to comment twice. sorry!

  7. By Marichal Claude on Jul 26, 2010

    J’aime bien les deux dernières.

  8. By Landscapers Gold Coast on Sep 22, 2010

    Europe is truly an awesome place to discover. It’s beauty is indeed staggering. Beautiful photos!

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