Last night

Tomorrow we’ll hike up the right hill, which is higher than it seems in this picture. About 2100m I guess.

This will be our last night spent on this trip. We had a day of absolutely godawful weather today in Carinthia. When it was dry, we scouted some areas north of the Wörthersee as they seemed to be good snake habitat. They were good snake habitat. They were also excellent hiking habitat. However, within fifteen minutes of starting our hike, it started pouring down. We were back at our car very quickly.

I was bloody frustrated about the weather. Everyone with some field herpetology skills is bragging about how easy it is to find snakes in Carinthia, and I cannot even make it happen here? I blame the weather. We were on the brink of driving home today, but when we drove a bit north of Villach, we saw that the skies were clearing up.

Soon it was sunny.

Heike and I decided that we could spend one more night. After all it is pretty here. We also don’t mind spending as long as possible away from home. I looked at Google Maps. A biosphere reserve called Nockberge seemed interesting. Rocky. Rocky is good. After last night and today’s rains everything else was swamp or torrent. Rocky and open is where those vipers (who love some heat) can warm up.

At least in theory.

After arriving at what seems to be a pretty neat place to hike, I googled a bit, and my first impression is that we are probably already too far North, and the vipers I’m trying to find don’t occur here… Bummer.

So, to conclude this whole trip in terms of herpetological success: it’s evident that to be reasonably successful in field herpetology (or probably any -ology in the field), you should be focused on just that. Finding stuff takes time, preparing and scouting sites takes time, and all of this was just not very feasible with the family around.

It was a pretty neat holiday though, and we’ve seen many new places. Tomorrow we’ll hike up the hill (pictured) to enjoy the views, and then we’ll go home. Really!

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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