Tuesday, November 21, 2017

First Snow


We had our first snow of the year in the Tosco Emilian Apennines last week. So, a trip up into the mountains to catch some snow scenes was obligatory. I had a nice sunny day as well.

I went to the “Recinti” (enclosures) above Valbona RE one of my favourite places for snowy landscapes. I had intended to go to the Cerreto pass, but it was covered in cloud coming in from Tuscany as it is often.

This is a strange place with the landscape divided into small fields using large wooden posts and wire. But the views here are wonderful.

The sun soon disappeared behind a mountain, one of the drawbacks to photographing in the mountains.

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

































Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Autumn with a bang at the Comunella

Sunday was just the day to catch the Autumn colours in the Apennines.

I decided to take a walk that starts at the Pradarena pass and heads east to the Passo Comunella. Nothing too strenuous and there are some great views here.

The Autumn has almost passed to winter up there and in a few days the Beach forests will be leafless.

As in the past in this period I came across the Tuscan hunters waiting to ambush the Woodpigeons as they use the mountain passes to migrate south. I saw a pair have a lucky escape from the barrage of lead. A quick retreat to try another day!

The rest of the walk was far more peaceful.

Passo Pradarena, RE

Passo Pradarena, RE

Passo Comunella, RE/MC

Passo Comunella, RE/MC


Passo Comunella, RE/MC

Passo Comunella, RE/MC

Passo Comunella, RE/MC

Passo Comunella, RE/MC

Passo Comunella, RE/MC

Passo Comunella, RE/MC

Passo Pradarena,RE

Passo Pradarena, RE

Passo Comunella, RE/MC

Montecagno, RE

Montecagno, RE

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Sun and Rain in Val d'Aosta.


This year we again spent our summer holidays in the Val d’Aosta. There is always something new to discover here.

I finally got around to doing the short hike up to Lago Arpy, with its specular view across the lake with the Monte Bianco group of mountains in the background. This was the visual highlight of this year’s holiday for me.
Lago d'Arpy,AO

Lago d'Arpy,AO

Lago d'Arpy,AO

Lago d'Arpy,AO

Lago d'Arpy,AO

Lago d'Arpy,AO

Lago d'Arpy,AO

Lago d'Arpy,AO
Even bad weather can be spectacular. Clearing bad weather made the Piccolo San Bernardo pass quite spectacular with a very strange light.
Passo Piccolo San Bernardo, AO

Passo Piccolo San Bernardo, AO

Passo Piccolo San Bernardo, AO

Passo Piccolo San Bernardo, AO

Passo Piccolo San Bernardo, AO

Passo Piccolo San Bernardo, AO
This pass has been used since ancient times as the prehistoric stone circle and the remains of a roman staging post testify. It is one of our favourite dentations to take a walk in the Val d’Aosta.

Passo Piccolo San Bernardo, AO

Passo Piccolo San Bernardo, AO

Passo Piccolo San Bernardo, AO

Passo Piccolo San Bernardo, AO
We also went up the San Bernardo pass on the Swiss border with Italy. The clouds around the mountains made for some strange landscape photographs. It is good fun driving up to the pass on the long series of hairpin bends.
Passo San Bernardo,AO

Passo San Bernardo,AO

Passo San Bernardo,AO

Passo San Bernardo,AO

Passo San Bernardo,Switzerland

Passo San Bernardo, Switzerland
 I managed to push on foot a bit further up the Val di Rhèmes than last year. This is my favourite valley in the Val d’Aosta as the landscape is the most varied and interesting.
Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO
In Valnotey near Cogne, I finally did the stiff climb on one side of the valley to the vantage point where one gets a great view of the valley from above.
Vanontey, AO

Vanontey, AO

Vanontey, AO

Vanontey, AO

Vanontey, AO

Vanontey, AO

Vanontey, AO
A badly marked footpath took me up the Valsavarench almost up to the snow line. The highlight of this walk was the remains of curious stone building in the higher reaches of the valley. Probably to support the big snow load in winter, this building had an arched stone roof instead of the usual timber roof that is to be found in this region.

Valsavarenche,AO

Valsavarenche,AO

Valsavarenche,AO

Valsavarenche,AO

Valsavarenche,AO

Valsavarenche,AO

Valsavarenche,AO

Valsavarenche,AO

Valsavarenche,AO

Valsavarenche,AO

Valsavarenche,AO
Whilst on an afternoon walk in a little village above Sarre called Ozien, I came acros a stone and timber building that reminded me of a prehistoric carving of a house that I saw in the Valle Camonica.
Ozien, AO

Ozien, AO

Ozien, AO

Ozien, AO
The Valgrisenche is probably the least interesting of the valleys in the region. Some dramatic sun and storm light saved the day on this quite uninteresting hike. Returning I noticed a secondary valley that might be more interesting to do the next time I am here. 

Valgrisenche, AO

Valgrisenche, AO

Valgrisenche, AO

Valgrisenche, AO

Valgrisenche, AO

Valgrisenche, AO
 
As always, we walked in the Val Veny and Val ferret right under Monte Bianco. Always spectacular.  

Val Ferret, AO

Val Ferret, AO

Val Veny, AO

Val Veny, AO

Val Veny, AO

Val Veny, AO

Val Veny, AO

Val Veny, AO

Val Veny, AO
A visit to the Castello di La Mothe was a bit disappointing as it is just more or less an empty shell.

Arvier, AO
Castello di La Mothe , Arvier, AO

Castello di La Mothe , Arvier, AO

Castello di La Mothe , Arvier, AO

Castello di La Mothe , Arvier, AO

 Arvier, AO

Arvier, AO
I spent a rainy morning in the Chiostro di San t’ Orso with its lovely column capitals.

Chiostro di San t’ Orso, Aosta, AO

Chiostro di San t’ Orso, Aosta, AO

Chiostro di San t’ Orso, Aosta, AO

Chiostro di San t’ Orso, Aosta, AO

Chiostro di San t’ Orso, Aosta, AO

Chiostro di San t’ Orso, Aosta, AO
Who knows if we will be tempted to return again next year in this wonderful place.   
 
Lago di Arpy, AO

Lago di Arpy, AO

Val di Rhemes, AO

Valnontey, AO

Passo Piccolo San Bernardo, AO

Val Veny, AO

Val Veny, AO