Since both my husband and I are avid gardeners and we needed a break from sightseeing, we made the short trip (about 14 Kilometers) to Lake Misurina for a day of peace and quiet outdoors. Misurina is a charming village at the foot of the "Drei Zinnen"in the Lavaredo area, which is well known for it’s great variety of wild flowers and plants. Surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Dolomites the combination of dolomitic limestone and volcanic soils are said to be the key to the exciting diversity of the alpine flora and fauna found in this region.
At lower elevations, we found cool wooded areas of tall Spruce and Larch, with the occasional Alder, Sycamore and Birch growing alongside. Great stands of Stone Pines stood beside Dwarf Pines and Juniper Bushes. The most striking sight was doubtless the hairy Alpine rose, a dwarf Rhododendron that colonizes whole mountain slopes. Meadow flowers were abundant with numerous Compositae, Campanulae, Papilionaceae and Buttercups as well as a wide variety of grasses, forage and fodder plants.
The mountain flora is comprised mainly of small-blossomed flowering plants concentrated on the banks of the mountain streams. It includes a variety of Primulae, Snow-white leopard’s bane, radiant Auricula and – "Queen of the alpine flowers" – the star-shaped Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum). The pale reflections of the Dolomites provide the perfect backdrop for pink Cinquefoil, orange-red Rhaetian Alpine Poppies and, dark-blue Rampion.
These flower-filled meadows also provide the ideal place to view a variety of songbirds, such as redstarts, finches, thrush, lark and tits. Conditions here are ideal for observing some rare species in their natural habitat. We also saw many Woodpeckers and even a large screech owl during our trek around the lake. Definitely a great day in a special get-away-from-it-all place!
by Barb B
Napa, CA and Hereford, AZ , Arizona
May 21, 2001
From journal In the Shadows of the Marmolada