Karlschütt and Karlgraben (Hochschwab), 3.6.2015
In his internet blog Im Mürztal, Günter Vielgut reported a short stroll in the area of the Karlschütt in the Hochschwab area seeing lots of Lady´s slipper orchids. So off we go to see this place, meeting with Herwig Gießwein as early as 7 a.m. for this longer drive to Kapfenberg, Thörl and Bodenbauer.
"Karlschütt" is a flat cone of scree in a valley, covered with light forest. The associated streambed is cut into that scree cone due to the gravel pit at its bottom.
In the light forest thousands of Lady´s slipper orchids, as single plants and in huge groups of up to 30 and more plants.
Regrettably, the sun does not shine at the moment, so I had to switch on my camera´s flash.
Narrow-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanthera longifolia)
A bit more up, at the entrance to the narrow and steep part of the valley, there is a nice beck flowing on the streambed (running dry in the coarse scree downstream).
Rock steps and cascades ...
We proceed a little bit more upwards into the narrow valley called Karlgraben, just to return half way ... my time is over, I have to work in the afternoon.
Besides the path, mountain avens (Dryas octopetala) ...
... and Alpine flax (Linum alpinum)
Rocky terrain, like everywhere in the limestone Alps. The sun has come out.
Back at the beck, we use a small bit of spare time to explore the beck and its cascades a bit more extensively.
North-east Alpine poppy (Papaver alpinum subspecies alpinum) is specialized on loose scree. Usually growing much higher up, it has found a good place here in the scree of the streambed.
On the way back, we find some of the Lady´sa slipper orchids in sunshine.
Bird's-nest Orchid (Neottia nidus-avis)