In June, 2012, we traveled to the Austrian Alps with members of the German Spinnen-Forum and the Austrian Spinnenstammtisch for a spider-expedition, with the back-up of some local National Parks. However, we started our expedition outside the Alps, in the beautiful natural-cultural region of the Wachau, part of the UNESCO World Heritage. It is a picturesque valley formed by the Danube. Near the town of Dürnstein, we found species-rich xeric slope steppe habitats among the vineyards.
Saturday, December 29, 2012
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Hundsheimer Mountain, Austria III. (Hundsheimer Berg, Österreich III.) (Hainburgi-rög, Ausztria III.) 05.2010.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Hundsheimer Mountain, Austria II. (Hunsheimer Berg, Österreich II.) (Hainburgi-rög, Ausztria II.) 05.2010.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Hundsheimer Mountain, Austria I. (Hunsheimer Berg, Österreich I.) (Hainburgi-rög, Ausztria I.) 05.2010.
This May we traveled to the Hundsheimer Mountain near the border of Austria and Slovakia. This 480-meter-high mountain belongs geologically to the Little Carpathians, yet it is located on the other side of the Danube. Its flora and fauna resembles that of the Carpathians and the Pannonian Plain, so it is unique in Austria's wildlife. The soil is based on limestone and the vegetation is composed mainly of species typical of the calcareous grasslands in the Pannonian Floristic Province. This first post focuses on plants from Hundsheimer that primarily grow on hillslides and rocky slopes, not on the open grasslands. Hundsheimer is a nature protection area which borders the Nationalpark Donau Auen.
Monday, May 28, 2012
Friday, May 25, 2012
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
As we traveled to Finnmark via Oslo in July, 2011, I spent a day by the Airport of Oslo in Gardermoen. I went out to take some photos, as the weather was nice. But than a heavy shower came and I returned to the bread-and-breakfast hotel, so there are only a few photos to show. Regardless of the short time I spent there, I found the Southern-Norwegian boreal pine forest to be a really interesting habitat, that differed quite a lot from the forests of Finnmark.
Friday, May 18, 2012
In September, 2009 I spent two days in the city of Szeged, South Hungary. I went out for taking photos along the rivers Tisa and Maros (Mureș), my main goal was to find the unique European Stalke-Eyed fly, Sphyracephala europaea, that was quite recently described from this location, as the first European member of this peculiar family. While searching for this creature, I managed to find many other interesting species as well.
Friday, May 11, 2012
Central Bükk mts., Hungary (Zentrales Bükk-Gebirge, Ungarn) (Bükk-hgys. középső része, Magyarország) 06.2009
During the university field trip in June, 2009 we spent some time in the middle part of the Bükk mts. The most interesting landscape here is the Nagymező on the Bükk Plateau, a mountain pasture/meadow that was formed some hundreds of years ago when a part of the forest was chopped down. Grazing animals, mainly horses helped to maintain the treeless landscape and later this area became a refuge for many rare plants that need the cool mountain climate but can not grow in the forest. Nowadays, a herd of Lipizzans are kept here by the Bükk National Park. Of course, the arthropod fauna is also very interesting here.
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Western Bükk mts., Hungary (Westliches Bükk-Gebirge, Ungarn) (Bükk-hgys. nyugati része, Magyarország) 06.2009.
As a biologist student in June, 2009 I took part on a field trip into the Bükk mts. (almost entirely a National Park) in North-East Hungary. We traveled through much of the Western part of this mountain range and we also made a long trip in the central part. The weather was unusually wet for this time of the year in 2009 but this fact resulted in many flowers that were still in blossom, so, after all we had luck. Here are some photos, mainly of plants, made on that week.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Cave in Bükk National Park, Hungary (Höhle im Bükk Nationalpark) (Barlang a Bükki Nemzeti Parkban) 11.2010.
In November 2010, I visited a cave in the Bükk mts. in North-East Hungary that has a large, about 6 x 6 m opening, located about 256 metres a.s.l. Its lenght is about 460 ms and it is home to numerous arthropods and many protected bat species. Sadly, many tourists come here (not with the guided tour organised by the NP) and littering around the cave and disturbing the local fauna is not uncommon.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Zemplén mountains, Hungary (Tokajer Gebirge, Ungarn) (Zempléni-hegység, Magyarország) 10.2009., 08.2010.
The Zemplén mountains (also Tokaj mountains) is a mountain range in North-East Hungary, famous for its culture, its many medieval stone castles and its interesting fauna and flora influenced by the Carpathian mountains, and last, but not least, for its viper population. In 2009, October was very nice and with some friends, we took a trip there, to the peaceful mountain villages of Hejce and Mogyoróska and to the ruins of the Regéc Castle, built around 1300.
Friday, April 27, 2012
In February, 2010 we participated on a whole-day long trip in East Slovakia, from Spišské Vlachy to Spišské Podhradie through Žehra: about 12 kilometers all in 20-30 cm snow. Due to the cloudy weather I only took a few photos. But actually, the grey background fit the old and impressive Spiš Castle, the destination of our hiking trail.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
The last time I visited the Zoo of Miskolc was in January 2010. This zoo, situated in the Bükk mountains, shows many native bird and mammal species (among exotic ones). Most of them have quite big and natural open ranges. I took my Sigma 70-300 lens with me and made some sample photos with it of the native animals. Here are some of them.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Back in September, 2010 we took part on a trip organised by the university to the Bihor mountains, to complete the Galbena Tour in the Apuseni Nature Park, a quite strenuous one that lasted more than 10 hours to complete (for infos on this tour, see for example this page. It involves some climbing on cables!). As this trip was rather for hiking than for photography, I only took my Fujifilm HS10 (with the Raynox DCR-250 macro lens) with me and I made only a few photos. Nevertheless, the Bihor mountains proved to be a very exciting place with a remarkable fauna. This area is part of the Apuseni Mountains, a mountain range that is isolated from the rest of the Carpathians. The Nortern part of these mountains are fold mountains, the Southern parts were created due to vulcanic activity.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
During winter I made some microscope and macro photos of the tiniest animals that live in the forest soil and leaf litter that I collected during last autumn in the Bükk mountains. For that, I simply have keeped the probes wet, and I took out a bit of these into a Petri dish filled with water to find the small worms and mites using a stereo microscope. These minute animals - annelids, rotifers, nematodes, water bears and minute mites are otherwise invisible. Despite their microscopic size, these stange creatures are important parts of a healthy forest ecosystem and they are also a significant part of a habitat's biodiversity.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
At the end of April 2011 I cycled up from Miskolc to the Sebesvíz brook in the Bükk mountain and Bükk National Park. This is one of my favourite places for nature photography, and it is definetly one of the most interesting brooks in Hungary because it is the steepest, it has a unique fauna and it is well hidden in the forest from most tourists. I was there at the beginning of April also, see that post here.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
In April I traveled to Nyírábrány in East Hungary to some moors and to some open sandy grasslands nearby to take photos. The flora and fauna of this area is typical of the Nyírség landscape area, which is an north-eastern part of the great Hungarian Plain. There were once extensive birch moors (the lands got its name after the Hungarian word for birch), swamps, lowland oak forests and open sandy grasslands here. Nowadays the land is mostly agricultural, but there are still many places for taking nature photos here. Several such areas are protected also.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
In May, 2011 we traveled for night-lamping into the Bükk mountains, to an area named Szentlélek. We chose a suitable point to set up the lamp that would attract moths and other insects, and until the night came we also took some photos of in the nearby forest. The weather was nice and moths came, but mostly common species (at least common during night-lamping - these moths are very hard or almost impossible to find by just searching in the vegetation in daytime). However, almost all specimens were still in a very nice shape, with intact wings still covered entierly with scales. Specimens of these spring species are usually very 'worn-out' and scuffed by the beginning of summer.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
During the spring of 2011 I experimented a bit with a self-made device that enables putting the front lens of my camera under water and thus helps to prevent reflections of the water surface on the photos and unsharp photos (I glued a plastic bottle and a 52 mm UV filter together, see here). I made some photos of aquatic animals that were found in little ponds in the city of Debrecen. The animals were first put into a little white plastic bowl (I put some sand to the bottom of it).