A River of Many Secrets

River Ižica that slowly meanders across Ljubljana Marshes is a regular target of our kite aerial photography efforts. There are many reasons for that, and it being close, on a flat open marsh with acceptable wind patterns is probably even more important than the other one: the thousands of years of human history that have unfolded along its banks.

On a very hot and pleasantly windy summer day we were there again. Targeting nothing in particular – not the UNESCO World Heritage site of the prehistoric pile dwellings, not the Roman and the Medieval roads, nor the last remnants of peat bogs and flood forests. Just for some nice aerial photos taken with a gently flying kite.

Ižica is beautiful on its own – the last unspoilt river on the Marshes, still choosing freely its slow flow; a Karst river without destructive power, cutting its riverbed gently into the thick silt of a long lost lake.

The banks of Ižica are a treasure for all the creatures that live there. Two thin hedges of trees and bushes line its flow towards Ljubljanica, providing shelter for so many insects (with goddamn mosquitoes too, to hell with them!), birds, and mammals, and shading the river protecting the fish and other water dwellers from the scorching summer sun.

The black, wet, marshy soil does not give easily to modern agriculture. Melioration canals crisscross the meadows and fields of corn; the summer hay collected and squeezed into cylindrical bales, cows and sheep grazing … the Marshes along the banks of Ižica haven’t changed much since the people started to better them in the 17th and 18t century

Ižica is river of many secrets – there are remnants of piles driven into the muddy bottom of a prehistoric lake still visible, there are Golden jackal footprints on its wet banks, a tiny hazel dormouse hides in the bushes from the hovering kestrel, a trout jumps out of it to catch a brilliant blue damselfly, a swarm of june bugs fill the air with incessant droning. It’s a serene place – a place to lay down in the grass, to observe and listen, to get lost in thoughts and to be mesmerised by it all.

And to fly kites there, of course.

All kite aerial photos shot with Canon A810 on The Spark rokkaku kite.

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