Bright sunshine this morning. A bit to do in the morning, afterwards I start out - from near Saubersdorf on fields and grassland till Strelzhof, then up on Kienberg, back through the forest via Netting, Winzendorf and the fields to Saubersdorf. Originally this walk wasn´t planned that long, but conditions being so wonderful I extended the tour, at least taking 4 1/4 hours without a break!
Schneeberg is displayed wonderfully in this clear weather.
Hoarfrost in the shadow.
Approaching the fishing pond ...
... which is partly frozen, ...
... so the mallards can walk over the ice.
The water is free in areas where fresh water is running in, despite the shadow, ...
... which even keeps the tiny bit of snow that has fallen yesterday.
From the hill near Saubersdorf, the view to Schneeberg is always best.
Schneeberg and Hohe Wand, to the right in front of the highest part the cone shaped forested mountain is the Kienberg, today´s highest point.
Snow in the shadow
Facing the Wechsel area
More frozen puddles ...
Behind the high poplars ...
... a hidden fishing pond behind high fences.
First small clouds in the sky
Dörfles, Netting and Hohe Wand.
Now I head for Strelzhof and have decided to climb Kienberg.
Snow and ice on the road through the small alluvial forest.
Strelzhof and Dörfles
Behind the "Ponyhof", a horse stud where my girls started their first riding lessions, I pass a beautiful paddock ...
... immetiately greeted by the two lovely horses.
They enjoy their freedom ...
... in fresh air.
Where I branch off to the right to ascend Kienberg, I get a free view to Willendorf and Würflach.
This makes me angry. The locals threw the hay from the grassland below on this steep slope, where it suffocates everything, including the rare, strictly protected lizard orchids flourishing here during summer.
Lots of snow in the steep, shady ravine, no snow in the sunny field.
Once more I can make use of my macro lens! In a small fenced area where deer have no access lots of winter heath (Erica carnea, Erica herbacea) is growing, really living up to its name!
Now ascending Kienberg over its wonderful, airy western ridge. Stunning views to Schneeberg from here.
Panoramic view of Schneeberg and Hohe Wand - as seen from the western ridge of Kienberg. Click here or into the picture for a larger display.
The community of Hohe Wand with the two villages of Maiersdorf and (in the background) Stollhof.
Another panorama of Schneeberg and Hohe Wand, from a bit more up. Click here or into the picture for a larger display.
A last panorama from Kienberg western ridge, nearly summit height. To the left, behind Zweiberg, Rosalia mountains, Bucklige Welt and the Wechsel- and Semmering mountains. To the left of Schneeberg is the Gahns - massive with Krumbachstein as its highest summit. Click here or into the picture for a larger display.
Grassy Kienberg ...
... with its true summit.
One of the most beautiful views to Schneeberg. A bit more clouds now.
Now, the route goes down through the shady and snowy forest (to the right in this picture) - take care on the slippery ground.
Back and behind Netting, the view to Hohe Wand. I´m beginning to feel the length of the walk and longing to be back home ...
Blosser Berg near Winzendorf. I have to walk across the fields to the left to reach my car.
More clouds, now wrapping Schneeberg summit. Only 10 more minutes to walk!