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Autumn

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That’s the time of the year where the seasonal change is more evident the days are shorter and is always possible to wake up in the morning and have a view of the high peaks covered by fresh snow. It’s an ideal moment to plan some of the longest hikes in the mountains as temperatures are lower and sun does not hits you with full force.

At this moment the birds that come to Val d’Aran for breeding in the spring have already migrated to their winter quarters. Those that remain with us all year along as well as the animals spend most of their time feeding to accumulate fat reserves that will help them to survive through the harsh winter months ahead. Nuts like hazelnuts, blue berries and the beech nuts are favourite items.

This is also mush room season until cold temperatures and frost end the emergence of a wide variety of comestible varieties. The forest is taken by animals during the night, looking for the fallen fruits of the trees, whereas with the first daylights the mushroom hunters, equipped with knife and baskets, search the place for the most appreciated varieties.

Paying attention we will be able to find the marks and spoor of the animals that have been around during the night. There are many signs we can find, hairs in lower branches and trunks, spoor in areas where the soil is soft, half eaten fruits and scat. Playing a detective game looking for animal signs in the forest is a very interesting experience.

And for those that would like to watch the animals the best option is to wait they leave the forest to eat late in the evenings. With patience, silence and the always needed dose of good luck we may discover some of the deer and roe-deer that are abundant here. And in certain places is possible to hear the bawls of male deer marking their territories from the end of September and through the month of October.

Light and colours of the forests in the autumn offer great chances for photographers, each time there are more and more people that spend few days in the mountains and meadows capturing lovely images and enjoying afterwards a good dinner by the fire place.