The "Indian summer" is long gone, temperatures are plummeting, and nature is preparing for the coming winter. Early in the morning you can already smell the snow. While some can't wait to finally strap on their skis, others are still savouring every autumn day. Today I'm taking you to the protected landscape of the Ebener Moor - a place that, especially in late autumn, immerses you in a mystical and at the same time wonderful atmosphere.
Before we start our autumn walk, I'll give you a short history and biology lesson: The Ebener Moor, also called Birkenmoor, is the last remnant of an enormous moorland area which, before construction, drainage and agricultural use, stretched across the entire valley between Eben's neighbour Niedernfritz and the Enns Valley. Today, the "Ebener Moor" provides important habitats for animal and plant species that have become rare and partly endangered. The protected globe flower and the also protected round-leaved sundew thrive here just as well as a variety of dragonfly, butterfly and bird species. In order to preserve this ecosystem as best as possible, the 5-ha area was declared a "Protected Landscape Area" in 1990.
So, enough of the lessons now - it's time to recharge our vitamin D household with the help of the autumn sun. From the centre of Eben, it's a five-minute walk in the direction of Altenmarkt until we turn into Moorgasse and reach the old wooden bridge with the green sign "Protected Landscape Area", where we keep left. At this time of year, I prefer to visit the moor in the late morning. The sun has already had some time to clear the trees and bushes of their hoarfrost crystals, while a white, glittering blanket still stretches over the moor on the ground. The thawed hoarfrost falls from the branches of the tall birch trees and the slanting rays of the sun make it seem as if hundreds of tiny crystals are raining down. So, rain protection is recommended in this case, even when the sun is shining. But it is not only the falling droplets that attract our attention. While most of the bushes and trees have shed their leaves, a few green and golden leaves framed by hoarfrost still glisten in the sun. Welcome splashes of colour in an otherwise mostly grey November.
We continue on the gravel path towards the bathing lake, which is already in hibernation. The bathing lake road then leads us back to the moor. If we had previously walked under the dense branches and twigs, here a clear and wide view of the moor and of the Lackenkogel towering over the valley opens up. The mist forming at the bathing lake slowly rises behind the birch and spruce trees of the moor. A moment that invites you to pause. The combination of the details at the edge of the path, which we, as mindful walkers, were allowed to admire today, and the far-reaching view of the mystical moor and the Lackenkogel makes us particularly appreciate both the small things and the landscape around us. With this invigorating feeling, we start our way back and look forward to a cup of hot chocolate at Café Philu, the new café directly on Eben's village square.
Have you ever walked in the Ebener Moor, perhaps at a different time of year? Feel free to write it in the comments!
Bildnachweis: Angelika Pfuner