High above the lake

See this lake? Well, it’s an intermittent karstic one: Palcje lake (Palško jezero), Pivka Valley Intermittent Lakes nature reserve, Slovenia.

In the summer the water escapes through limestone in the lake bottom and the lake dries out, the waters giving way to meadows and fields and red Salix shrubs. And then the autumn rains overwhelm the outlets (and the sinkholes turn into springs called estaveles) and all of this area is under tens of meters of water. We will take a picture then – it is quite an experience to see a beautiful lake where the pastures were just days before!

When Palško lake completely disappears, its waters give way to pastures. The abundant wild garlic (and lake sediments) makes grazing unsuitable for dairy cows, so horses are the animals of choice in this beautiful, sparsely populated, off-the-beaten-path part of Slovenia.

(white stuff – lake sediments, mainly limestone)

The kite aerial monitoring of sediments – see the white stuff on the picture above – can reveal the intricate flow and ebb of karstic waters, while identifying sites of wild garlic can help the farmers get fodder for animals other than horses.

(Close up of the field. Highlighted in red is a part of sediment-covered area that was used for animal fodder.)


Nikon 1 J1 on a Royal 69 sled, and Canon A810 on a Rokkaku kite.

More about the seasonal lakes of Pivka nature park can be found here and here.

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