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Beautiful autumn colours and rare sightings

~ Friday, 2nd October 2009

Last week was my last week of guiding work in the Alps for this summer season. Several plants were still hanging in there, especially the saxifrages, but I also spotted a few new ones. I had never seen a Fringed gentian before, but we saw several on our way to the Lammeren hut. A few days before, near to the Dix hut I came across several clumps of Dwarf eyebright and Tender gentian.

Colours were on the change. This was especially noticable with Alpine bilberries and Larch trees which have turned a beautiful red and golden colour. Although these early signs of autumn make you think that everything is dying off, I was amazed at some of our sightings.

In the Wildstrubel range we had a great view of a pair of Golden Eagles, or Aigle Royal as they are called locally. There is also a resident Lammergeyer in this region, but you've got to be super lucky to catch a glimpse of it I'm told.

On the way to the Dent Blanche hut at the end of our week we saw a small flock of Ptarmigan, several Snow Finches and some footprints in a dry mud pool of what is either a dog or wolf! I wouldn't be surprised if it were the latter!