The cycle of one year in the upper Western Allgovia
Here, we document a full-year cycle within our close vicintiy (photos taken within 2008 and 2009).
30th April: Here we practiced skiing on 10. April, now the
skilift is out of operation and the meadows are speckled by flowers,
most of thema re white and blue Crocus.
Photo taken at 1000 m elevation, near Oberstaufen on 30. April 08
End of April 2008: The
combination of clear air and lots of snow residing at the mountains allow photos
like this. The
picture, taken on 30. April 08, shows the village of Hopfen near Simmerberg
and the Bregenzerwald mountain chain, about 40 km apart.
a closer look unveales the diversity of grasses and wild flowers, good for nature and the health of the cattle,
Photo taken near Simmerberg
1. Mai, everywhere in Allgovia, the Maypoles are erected. The one in our neighbour vilalge Ellhofen ist 25 m tall. After a fresh fir has been fixed to the top and a wreath is placed (left photo), the pole is brought up by the pure manpower of about 20 men. Than it is fixed in a prepared holder in the ground. The Maypole represents the crafts, the trade business, and the cultural and sports activities of the village. It will remain in its place until thanksgiving.
at one day end of May, "our" meadows are still florishing. One day after, they will be harvested. That day marks the begin of summer.
from June through September many activties take place in the mountains. The alps (here: the mountain meadows), mountain inns, funiculars offer lots of entertainment. The photo shows the new orleans style jazzband "Westallgäu-Dixie" beside the Imberg inn above Oberstaufen-Steibis
End of August, summer starts to run out. The first autumn flowers grow on the high meadows. Still the cattle feeds there, but only for very few more days. Then, they will be driven down to the valley and further to the home stable.
All through September, the cattle is driven down from the "Alps" called high meadows, combined with the separation of the cattle for their owners, called "Viehscheid". It happens in parallel in the whole Alpine mountain area. In the bavarian Allgäu alone are about 25000 young cattle at the meadows. Milk and cheese production on the mountains is only left to very view stations. The cattle drive is a huge feast with big tents and programs, lasting several days, a happening at about 20 locations in the Allgäu, much more conveniant than the famous Oktoberfest.
People have fun, while the cattle has none.
You may take a closer look to the available video clip about the cattle drive and the business connected, the run-time is 4:30 minutes:
Cattle-drive and split-up.mp4
By 3. October, the first snow came to the higher elevations (>800 m) our neigbour ski runs of the Hochgrat and Steibis have already been marked read, so they understand what´s coming up. Of course, the snow will melt soon, but in the former years it was much warmer this time. The hiker cottages in the high Allgäu mountains are already shut down.
On 12. Oktober most of the
leaves have turned and start to drop.
The photo was taken near Simmerberg on a beautiful and warm sunday afternoon.
On 22. November, the first massive snowstorm of the saison took place. The photograph shows the ski village of Oberstaufen-Steibis with it´s ski runs The rising snow clouds are creted by the running snow guns, which optimize the situation. One week later the ski station opened for the public.
Sunrise on 14. December 2008. The Hochgrat mountain is calling, because excellent conditions enable an extra-early start into the skiing saison. Let´s go downhill!
16. January 2009. It is a serious winter all over Germany. The "Eistobel", near Isny, unveils where it´s name comes from. Tobel is the local word for a gorge. As there are lots of springs along the gorge, lots water inlets run down the walls. The gorge "Eistobel" has a name which fits.
18. February 2009. While we travelled northern Norway, to experience the winter mood and polar light live (which worked excellent, as the left photo shows). Tthe 17th had brought about 80 cm of snow, proven during the 4-hour-shoveling on 18th. One of the rewards was a laser-like sunset the same evening.
4. March 2009. Since 17.2. about 2 m of snow came down. It even covers the cypress trees around the house. At our balcony, I am busy to keep the snow low. Skiing is delightful everywhere, as long s no danger of avalanches exist. Foto at the former world cup run of Oberstaufen, the thickness of the snow layer is well proven.
24. April 2009. Since yesterday, our "neighbor cattle" is out to enjoy the fresh grass and probably the pretty view to the mountains, who knows?
25. April 2009. Today, we repeated the wild flower hike up to the mountain meadows, like a year before. Again, where we have been skiing less than 4 weeks ago, the trees and the wildflowers are blooming. This photo was taken at 1000 m and closes the cycle.
The final photograph was taken at the same place as the very first one, one year has passed.