Just Before the Sun Sets

A couple of days ago we were enjoying a relaxed kite flying afternoon, and we did some kite aerial photography too – to catch the stunning views across Ljubljana Marshes towards Ljubljana and the Alps beyond.

But as the sun was setting and the light became golden, we just couldn’t resist – and we sent the boxed delta kite up again …

Two kites – an orange octopus and a purple trilobite – resting after a hard day’s flying

The low sun brought the shadows out; the trees and the meadows were glowing, and the drainage canals stood out testifying to the wet nature of Ljubljana Marshes.

The little forest here is a remnant of huge wooden landscape that was once covering the Marshes. The peat under these raised bogs could be over 10 m thick – now most of it is long gone, used for heating homes and for industrial power.

While most of the rivers and streams on the Marshes were regulated and turned into straight canals, the ghosts of their flow are still visible – like that ancient meandering depression leading to Ižica river.

Ižica river itself is one of the few pristine rivers stil flowing naturally across Ljubljana Marshes. Ižica starts from a Karst spring in the village of Ig and thus carries very little sand; it does not erode much its banks, and rarely changes course, so people left it alone.

Here on the eastern part of the Marshes the soil is still very wet, limiting agriculture to hay-producing meadows and fields of corn. Narrow strips of forest break up the monotony.

There is a herd of deer somewhere in this photo; the wildlife of Ljubljana Marshes is quite exceptional – deer, wild boars, golden jackals, rabbits, nutrias and muskrats live here, brown bears come to visit, there are huge numbers of birds, insects, rare butterflies, fish and turtles, and many rare and endangered plants.

The whole Ljubljana Marshes are a landscape park, a Natura 2000 site, and parts of it are strictly protected as monuments of nature.

Geologically Ljubljana Marshes are a tectonic basin filled to the brim with sediments. This little round hillock glowing in the setting sun is called Grmez; composed of Permian and Carbonaceous shales and sandstone it is over 200 m high – but most of it is buried in sediments brought by river Ižica and other streams over the last couple of million years.

Grmez and the Marshes surely saw millions of sunsets like this – but not many of them were captured by a camera flying on a kite!

All kite aerial photos shot with Nikon P330 on a box delta kite.

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