Cursed Swamps and Mellow Marshes

It’s a cursed place, this swamp on the northern edge of Račna karst field landscape park …

This was the fifth time we visited this place, and the record is, well, less than satisfactory. The first flight was OK (early in our KAP career, still learning the basics). On the second visit there was no wind; on the third the conditions were perfect and we walked the kite all around the place just to discover on landing we forgot to turn the camera on. On the fourth visit the wind was lousy and we got only the infrared camera with us, so no pretty pictures.

And this time? Again, bad wind conditions. The swamp lies at the point where a karst field valley opens into the Grosuplje basin; there are few directions from where a good steady wind can blow, and there are all sorts of turbulence-inducing obstacles (and a powerline crosses the swamp, so some areas are out of the question regarding kite flying.

But while KAP cursed, it is a magical place … The swamp is the end of the road for Dobravka creek – it leaves the (mostly) impermeable Grosuplje basin and enters the flat limestone Račna karst field. That’s where the fun starts … The almost completely level ground means the creek meanders like crazy – its sinuosity (or “bendness”, the length of river between two points divided by the straight line between those points) approaches 5! And the limestone bedrock means the river is slowly loosing its water to the karst underground: there are huge sinkhole areas and sumps, and in spring and autumn they just can’t gulp down all the excess water, so the river floods and keeps the swamp active.

These kite aerial photos show Mihovka sinkhole area, a secondary sump of Dobravka creek that fills up when the waters are high. Just imagine how fascinating the view would be if the wind did what it’s supposed to do!

Still, even low altitude KAP is a nice KAP – so no complaints, lest we annoy the gods of wind … 🙂

“We’ll be back”, we said and, still in need of a good KAP session, drove to Ljubljana Marshes to fly the camera really high.

This is one of our classic kite flying spots, the area of prehistoric pile-dwellings – a UNESCO World Heritage site! – on the eastern part of Ljubljana Marshes.

It was a beautiful early spring afternoon, and the Alps were glimmering in the distance.

River Ižica is still slowly flowing by (now buried remains of) the pile-dwellings like it used to do for millenia.

We put a couple of other kites up too – it would be a sin not to take advantage of a nice wind!

Trilobite panicking on the sight of a real patang fighter kite flying on a cutting manjha line

Snowy peaks of Kamnik – Savinja Alps in the afternoon sun

Three Rokkakus and a Trilobite. The camera carrying kite is the one you can barely see, swaying on the end of a 300 m line

And a huge flock of cranes returning from their wintering grounds in Spain and North Africa checked in on their flying buddies!

Cranes (Grus grus) flying a V formation

It was a nice double KAP session, even if the (high) expectations were not completely met. But the point is to enjoy flying and get some nice photos from an unusual perspective … and we surely did that! 🙂

All kite aerial photos shot with a Canon A810 on a Red dot Rokkaku – piloted by Maša.

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