Farewell Virpazar

On a chill morning in early March a fisherman puts out not long after dawn to set his nets, baling the icy water from the small boat as he meanders the flooded channel. Fishing is tough and incessant with scant rewards outside  of the short, summer tourist season. The fishermen work alongside herons, cormorants, grebes and egretsContinue reading “Farewell Virpazar”

Lovćen Mountain

Lovćen is a mountain within the heart of Montenegro’s coastal range, rising abruptly from the dark maquis and olive-clad hills between the coastal towns of Kotor and Budva to descend more gently inland to the old capital of Cetinje. The mountain is the most accessible of them all, as there is a road running round the baseContinue reading “Lovćen Mountain”

Žabljak Crnojevića Emperors

If Freyer’s purple emperor (Apatura metis), or FPE for short, is abundant around Lake Skadar as I think it maybe, having found a handful of territories at Vranjina and knowing that its food plant, white willow (Salix alba), is very commonly distributed around the wetter areas of the lake, then an easy test is to goContinue reading “Žabljak Crnojevića Emperors”

Ascent of Rumija 2

Above the dark green, ancient sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) woodland near Livari, the hay is neatly stacked in the corner of a small field with a protective plastic sheet, like a skull cap, and weighted with old tyres and water-filled plastic bottles. The crops in the field, onions, potatoes and courgette, are all well advancedContinue reading “Ascent of Rumija 2”

Lake Skadar’s Emperor

The weather the other morning at Vranjina was sunny, clear and warm. The squacco herons now joined by a couple of little egrets rushed from the water’s edge as usual, some perching motionless in the nearby trees.  A little bittern flew across the road; this is a much more reserved heron species and only seenContinue reading “Lake Skadar’s Emperor”

Godinje’s Knight of the Garter

Godinje is a pretty village the other side of the hill from Virpazar.  Almost every house has neat signs on the road advertising their home-produced Vino, Rakija and Med (honey). The owners sit under the shade of a tree on the terrace or on a chair behind a desk laden with bottles eyeing the passing traffic. TheContinue reading “Godinje’s Knight of the Garter”

Biogradska Gora – Spring Melt

The path up to the lake on 11th April was, in contrast to my last visit, almost clear of snow.  Plants were up in the leaf litter under the high forest.  White butterbur (Petasites albus) was most numerous but the vivid blue hepatica (Hepatica nobilis) was more eye-catching. Wood anemone (Anemone nemerosa) and a borage species wereContinue reading “Biogradska Gora – Spring Melt”

Rumija Mountain

The road from Virpazar runs along the southern shore of Lake Skader but this is no gentle drive but a twisting, edge of the hill, thread of a lane for 30km or more to Ostros. The dramatic drive gives dramatic views of the Lake and villages that find the few areas of flat fertile landContinue reading “Rumija Mountain”

Biogradska Gora

The tarmac path from the car park up to the small lake within Biogradska National Park is only a couple of kilometres but Spring had not started to dent the knee deep snow. The lake is 1,094m above sea level so the sign told me and a different world from the oak-clad hills filled with crocusContinue reading “Biogradska Gora”