09.03.2016 - 09.03.2016 6 °C
Today we went on a hike in the mountains behind the house where we're staying. We saw hawks and other birds. It is also possible to see wild boar, foxes, deer, lynxes and bears. Lynxes are medium sized wild cats that are really shy. They can grow up to 70 cm long, and can be as heavy as 30 kg which is more the me!
The bears live alone and have a big territory that goes as far as Austria, Russia, Switzerland and Germany. Our friend Patrick says one will visit every few years and when he does the locals freak out, LOL The bears are hibernating at the moment so we didn't see any. The type of bear is a Eurasian brown bear, its fur can be up to 10cm long and so can its claws. The largest Eurasian brown bear recorded was 481kg and nearly two and a half metres long. Mum was really glad they were all asleep!
On the way down the mountain we also saw Goats called Grappa Grischa that were nearly extinct until one of the local farmers started breeding them. They have huge beards and horns. The beards are goatees (get it?)
Lucinda picked baerlauch (bear leek) which is a wild garlic to make pesto for dinner, it was really yummy. She also picks wild mushrooms, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries that come in late spring.
We saw hunting boxes and bird boxes in the trees. We climbed up into one of the hunting boxes and it was not very comfortable, it only had a carpet on a piece of wood. The hunters put out food on the ground then sit and wait. The hunting boxes are called a hide. They are called this because the hunters hide in them. They are shooting the wild boar because too many boars would be bad for the environment, they trample the forests and destroy the meadows.
People make bird boxes to give shelter to the birds in the winter. Few of the birds use the small boxes but they make big bird boxes for the owls who often use them for nesting. They use the owl boxes to tag the baby owls in late spring. They get the mama owl out by holding a net in front of the owl box, then they hit the owl box and the mama owl flies out into the net. She gets really upset but is soon put back with her babies.
There was also snow (good snow that could be compacted easily). The best shot for a snowball fight is in between someone's jacket and their skin, that is the best shot possible.
(Pictures of the Lynx and the bear are from Google searches.)