Poseljani’s Rich History and Habitats

The road winds above Lake Skadar with panoramas of lake and forest around each hairpin; through the village of Kruševica where beekeepers tend the hives and signs hang above tables of laden with tall bottles; on through pretty Komarno, and, at the end of a steep slope with lake below, a new road descending the steep valley to the oldContinue reading “Poseljani’s Rich History and Habitats”

Virpazar’s Glanville Fritillaries

On the hot afternoon of April 22nd after a long day, I saw my first fritillary butterfly of the year, which settled within spitting distance at the top of an area of long, abandoned terraced fields not far from the village of Kruševica on the Virpazar to Rijeka Crnojevića road. At the time, I was eating a bright redContinue reading “Virpazar’s Glanville Fritillaries”

Evening’s End on Velika Plaza

Velika Plaza on this bright evening is huge, wild and exhilarating with a strong onshore wind, warm and welcome after a hot day; it is also cluttered with ramshackle summer cabins and endless, ugly litter, much probably brought up during winter storms but much also discarded by visitors. This evening the great beach is almost empty of peopleContinue reading “Evening’s End on Velika Plaza”

Rumija’s Romans

April 20th is another brilliant day and Lake Skader ice flat, blue gin under blue sky. The villages and hamlets are alive with sprouting vines and emerging vegetables; an old woman bends over hoeing carefully along the rows. The surrounding wooded slopes are bright green swathes of hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) spattered with vanilla ice creams of flowering manna ash (Fraxinus ornus).Continue reading “Rumija’s Romans”

The Road to Čukovići

The old chalk quarry just outside of Virpazar on the road to Rijeka Crnojevića is a sheltered sun trap. Rank grassland and shrubs have not developed, perhaps because of the shallow soils and regular grazing by goats from the nearby smallholding. Hence it is floristically diverse and this, in turn, supports a range of butterflies. AContinue reading “The Road to Čukovići”

Plavnica Water Meadows

The road from Golubovci runs arrow straight for six kilometres, so the sign says, to the isolated riverside resort of Plavnica through a flat landscape of small farms.  Each holding and their house is different but nearly all are growing vegetables in neat plots, with cabbage and lettuce being most prominent. These are planted out by hand with a longContinue reading “Plavnica Water Meadows”

April Blues

Two species of blue butterfly (the Lycaenid family) are now out, both flying low in patches of rough grassland between Virpazar and Rijeka Crnojevića. One is the chequered blue (Scolitantides orion) and the other the short-tailed blue (Cupido argiades). The first is quite different from most blues with its lovely dark shades and heavy marking andContinue reading “April Blues”

Komaji, near Čilipi, Croatia

On the way back to Montenegro from the airport at Čilipi on the 13th April, I stopped below the village of Komaji where what looks like part of an old railway track runs along the hillside. I think this was built between Dubrovnik and Herceg Novi in the early 20th Century when all belonged to Croatia andContinue reading “Komaji, near Čilipi, Croatia”

Ascent of Rumija

Yesterday, we set out to climb Rumija mountain, well a goodly part of its 1,595m. The mountain tops were still snow-covered but the target was to reach the steep beech forests at around 1,200m. We began in the ancient sweet chestnut woods and followed the way-marked path, passing through the hamlet of Gornji Briska.  TheContinue reading “Ascent of Rumija”