National Geographic Wild Wildest Europe Forests Woodlands BBC Documentary History

[Music] at the very heart of the Earth's most populated continent lies a nearly unknown natural jewel straddling the borders between three countries and in the shadow of the iron curtain a paradise has been preserved untouched wetlands grassy hills and vast forests combined into a landscape where man and nature have long been allies [Music] poets and composers have been inspired by its pastoral beauty and roar wilderness alike it is a place unrivaled anywhere in Central Europe the ancient bohemian hills are older than 300 million years much older than the Alps or the Himalayas the elements had time beyond human comprehension to smooth this one's high mountain range into its present gentle shape today the remnants of this mighty range are a rolling woodland on the czech side large areas are protected within several national parks in the dense undergrowth a shy forest dweller leads a secret life the Lynx is a solitary ambush hunter patrolling a vast forest territory in the Bohemian hills Lynx have been known to hunt even near human settlements in this land humans are forest dwellers too in fact the forest has always seen their livelihood traditionally a forest patch is part of every farm when the men harnessed their horse to haul logs from winter forests time seems to her frozen the howl of a chainsaw brings back the present but just as in days gone by the local people are still dependent on timber as a raw material first in slow motion then with crashing speed one of the Giants leaves its place in the forest [Music] this is still hard work even though the raw of power tools has long replaced the beat of axes would determines every aspect of life in the bohemian forest it gives warmth and shelter objects of everyday use are made from wood and many of them are even homemade when the farmer works the lathe the fragrance of fresh wood fills the workshop [Music] the shapes are simple but they are practical and there is no reason to change time-proven designs this farm in the mill district on the austrian side has been run by local families for more than 500 years four generations are sitting around the dinner table many young people have left this remote area those who stay are held by family ties in the bohemian forest independence and self-sufficiency have a long-standing tradition when the first farmers took up the struggle against a rough climate in the forest the bohemian king granted them their own jurisdiction the right to hunt and fish and to make brandy or schnapps but people here were no one's lords and no one servants as their motto goes winter in these hills is rough yet it inspired the poet Adelbert snifter who was born here to see nature and it's rough beauty in a new light [Music] Stifler wrote the masses of ice and snow clinging to the trees were of unspeakable beauty the trees stood like candelabra their candles sparkling with silvery light and with all this radiance and glitter not a single twig would move [Music] winter has not yet ended when for some inhabitants of the Bohemian hills spring is already in the air this young Lynx was born last May his parents are preparing for new offspring like with all felines mating is not exactly a gentle business with his jaws the mail grabs the female by the back of the neck outside the mating season the lives of both sexes are solitary after only a few minutes it's all over they linger for a while but soon they go their own ways again [Music] there are moments when winter loosens its grip and one might easily forget the sometimes destructive power of frost and ice what the weight of snow and ice do to the trees each winter becomes obvious when the land is relieved of its white blanket [Music] heavy snowfall can cause havoc in the forest every year tons of snow and violent storms claimed thousands of victims when the forest has taken a beating this inconspicuous but much feared agent enters the battlefield the females of the bark beetle dig a tunnel under the tree bark and lay their eggs hundreds of young larvae will then eat their way through the log this tunnel is already occupied she has to find a new claim to dig her own normally bark beetles only infest dead trees but sometimes populations can explode triggering a massive attack on the entire forest this is why especially harsh winters can do much greater damage than first meets the eye [Music] but while the beetles speed up the decay of the Fallen forest the forces of nature bring forth new life [Music] now in spring a profusion of wildflowers dots the meadows bringing out fresh patches of bright color from day to day [Music] well hidden between millions of meadow flowers there are precious rarities orchids of all sorts [Music] on the sunny slopes of the Bohemian Hills the sea of flowers attracts up to 500 butterfly species Adelbert snifter had sharpened his senses for the small beautiful things of nature when he wrote most men can only read the large print in the book of creation and overlook the miniature script on meadow flowers and butterfly wings wherever man expects more from nature than lovely flowers work is required [Applause] because of its granite base the soil of the Bohemian Hills is not very fertile so farmers need to improve their fields crop fields and pastures interrupts large stretches of forest the value of such natural land is rising the Bavarian and the Austrian parts of the Bohemian Hills are almost entirely in private hands today the rough work is done by tractors but the tender seedlings are still planted by hand it isn't these tender seedlings that attract the white stork to the tractors wake it's the ground beetles and other insects that are presented as on a plate all the stalk has to do is pick them up [Applause] right now the demand is high the young stalks can never get enough usually stalks have to work tediously for their food when the tractor does the job they completely overcome their fear white storks often live close to human civilization only few pairs build their nests in trees most of them prefer the advantages of a solid building the size of the building is not really an issue the parents take care of their nestlings for an entire two months before the young begin to fly then the whole family will take off on their long journey to Asia Minor and on to Africa for the time being however only the parents can enjoy a bird's view of the Bohemian Hills [Music] between vast forests rivers gently swing around the hills the largest of these meandering streams is the moldava the irregular line of its banks offers living space to many creatures who feel drawn to the water and seek variety [Music] untouched high plateaus have become rare among Europe's landscapes in the Bohemian hills such places are still found this wilderness in the heart of Europe is heritage of the ice age erosion has rounded the hilltops and widened to the valleys at the end of the Ice Age numerous small glaciers have left behind Lakes Adelbert IFTA compared them to petrified tears set in the brow of the primeval forest the forest covers vast areas that have one the Bohemian hills of the designation roof of Europe peat swamps are evidence of an exceptional climatic condition the rare fact that precipitation is higher than evaporation lack of oxygen in the waterlogged ground prevents dead plant material from decaying this combination produces a unique plant community [Music] cotton grass spreads a bright fluff over the swamp flower cones float over the meadow like tiny pink balloons as spring progresses other inhabitants of the Bohemian Hills come out to claim their part of nature beyond the border on the Czech side the bohemian forest was a no-man's land for about half a century but here in Austria's mill district the land was always used by man but gently and in harmony with nature the summer heat blurs the air above the wheat fields when the Sun is at its highest it's harvest time some forty or fifty years ago the work was much harder than today each ear of wheat went through the farmers hand the wheat was cut with a sickle and stood up to dry in bundles after days of labor the wheat is almost brought in every summer it is a race against the weather as soon as the crop is dry there's no time to be lost the next storm could destroy an entire seasons work relentlessly there flails came down to beat the last grain out of the straw muscle power was also needed to separate the wheat from the chaff only for grinding the grain where their machines early on in spite of technological innovations making a living in the bohemian Hills has always been closely connected to the natural treasures of the land not only forests and fields have been exploited by man the many small and large rivers have also played a role in the region's economy the Bohemian Forest holds major water resources for Central Europe the excellent water quality allows many creatures that have long disappeared elsewhere to flourish here but the rivers also attract inhabitants of the Bohemian hills that are generally known as water shy the young Lynx are exploring in detail a world that is still new to them water seems to simultaneously fascinate and frighten them the mother enjoys the moments when the youngsters busy themselves but she is always on guard and her quiet moments never last long very gradually the Lynx came back to the Bohemian Hills until 100 years ago it was mercilessly persecuted attitudes began to change only 30 years ago today the Lynx is accepted in the forests of Bohemia the rivers of the Bohemian forest can boast a special jewel that is only found in the purest of waters to multiply these creatures need the help of brown trout were only found in unpolluted rivers half buried in the sand of the riverbed River oysters feed on plankton which they filter out of the water the oysters reach an age of up to 70 years over decades some of them can produce precious pearls many cultural treasures of the Bohemian Forest are adorned with pearls from the rivers of the Bohemian hills none of them surpasses the pearly splendor of this famous mass vestment in a bohemian Abbey [Music] the pure water had the wealth of fish in the rivers have made the Bohemian forests and attractive habitat for a predator that had all but disappeared from Central Europe European otters appreciate natural riverbanks with small lagoons and shallows where trout can easily be trapped when river banks are straightened and denaturalized to the otter although it is a great underwater hunter doesn't stand a chance but when there are rocks whirlpools and overhanging banks fish can be surprised and cornered although even here hunting trout is a tricky business the Bohemian Hills our Continental watershed there rivers flow either into the North Sea or into the Black Sea transporting goods between north and south on bohemian rivers seemed impossible the hills were always in the way then in the 1820s an Austrian Forester was asked by Prince Schwarzenberg to solve the problem Watson bag hoped to move large quantities of timber from northern Bohemia to the Danube and then on to Vienna in 1823 the first logs drifted through a complex system of channels lakes and water gates it was an ambitious technical project compared in its time to the building of the Panama Canal to flood the channels with enough water big lakes were tapped during the snowmelt when the water level was at its highest 700 workers were busy around-the-clock with long hooks they guided thousands of logs through 30 miles of artificial channels when in 1916 the last log drifted through the flood gate at the Mill River almost 1 billion cubic feet of timber had been supplied for the building of the Capitol in the communist-era parts of the spartanburg channel system were used until the 1960s in spite of such large-scale human intervention the nature of the Bohemian Hills has preserved its original character the greater part of Bohemia streams still rushes through the forests untamed many great old trees still collapse of old age and are not cut down with axe and saw such a forest offers ideal conditions for many complex life cycles [Music] [Music] on the check side in the protected areas one can still find fallen Giants that once stood 180 feet high as soon as such a giant organism has given up its long life it is colonized by millions of other much smaller creatures fungi lichen mosses and insects without old trees woodpeckers and many other bird species in their wake wouldn't be able to build or find suitable nesting sites [Music] humans to have profited for millennia from the everlasting cycles of the forest in such kilns wood is burned to charcoal for more than one week the logs have to glow under a cover of straw and clay before the kiln can be extinguished Glass Works have been among the main consumers of charcoal in the bohemian forest glass blowers found everything they needed charcoal and potassium from the fast forests and quartz from the crystalline rock of the Bohemian Hills many of the historic houses in this region are only partially plastered lack of natural limestone forced the inhabitants to save on the white raw material quartz sand is found here abundantly but to melt it into glass enormous amounts of energy are needed with charcoal the glass kilns had to be heated to 1,200 degrees centigrade later on hydro electrical energy was readily available it is by no means accidental that many glass making techniques were developed here in the Bohemian forest in the Bavarian part of the forest some manufacturers use century-old methods even today glowing the molten glass into shape one particular method from Bohemia was the combination of clear and colored glasses that were pressed together when Hart the glass is hardened in cold water the layers of clear and colored glass hold together yet they remain separate skillfully cut this combination makes for an ornamental effect in the 19th century glass blowers and cutters made the bohemian art world-famous [Music] in spite of all that human activity the Bavarian forest has remained wild and kept many a secret [Music] in order to find one of these rare secrets one must be out at dawn while the folks of the night still linger between the trees with some luck one could meet a creature like from a Nordic myth very few people have actually seen an elk on the Austrian side of the Bohemian forest never before have Elks been filmed in this country but this might become a more familiar view in the future the elk is on its way back Elks depend on natural forests conifers and lots of water and they find it all in the Bohemian forest on the check side of the forest Elks have found these conditions for a long time and so they are easier to encounter here the structure of this landscape with its vast forests and numerous bodies of water is similar to that of elk habitats in Scandinavia in recent years elk have spread out into new territories from the Baltic countries and Poland elk are the largest member of the deer family in Europe they can weigh up to 400 kilos to keep such a massive body alive and moving just on a plant diet is simply tedious eating is about all elves ever do the summer is already on the wane and the Rowan berries are getting ripe [Music] the signal red berries beckoned to song thrush who will spread the seeds all over the hills in former days the Bohemian forests sheep was widespread a few years ago the breed was rediscovered it would have died out had not enthusiastic breeders brought it back from the brink only 25 individuals were left at a time today these traditional domestic animals are again found on many farms some plants are not eaten even by hungry sheep like other gentian species the Bohemian gentian also contains bitter substances this flower is a botanic speciality of this region it is not found anywhere else this in contrast is a new neighbor originally wasp spiders were only found in Mediterranean countries but in recent years these creatures were their conspicuous design our invading places as far north as the bohemian Hills these spiders are part of a more general northward movement probably caused by global warming a fly has overlooked the spider's fine web now poison is injected into its body and it is packed for later use long days of summer have given the apples color an unobtrusive sign of autumn being close but before then the sweet gifts of summer wait to be enjoyed thousands of apples are being shredded the shredded mass is then filled into the cider press our family has owned this piece for more than a century every year in early autumn the press is again set to work fresh cider fills the barrels and spreads our sweet fragrance everywhere in the bohemian forest the coolness of autumn is now felt in the peat bogs decay he creates a special habitat a plants that grow here form an exclusive community only plants that can live with constantly low levels of nutrition stand a chance of survival [Music] this is precisely what makes the peat bog so precious many species that live here cannot exist anywhere else [Music] the counter this lack of nutrients nature has developed unusual methods flying insects that get too close to these sticky traps are doomed the sundew is one of the very few insect eating plants in Central Europe in the peat bogs of the Bohemian forest it finds ideal conditions the sheep of the Bohemian forests are not worried by the end of summer but by the procedure associated with it [Music] [Applause] this almost-forgotten breed is especially resistant against rough weather and diseases these sheep also breed very fast the he Mian forest sheep are also famous for their fine wool [Music] they have hardly any rough upper hair but lots of very fine under wool this is the raw material the mood district tweed is made of just in time for the cold days of the year [Music] Adelbert IFTA often wandered through Heath's and over high plateaus through the wetlands and the forests again and again he was fascinated by the change of the seasons in the Bohemian forests he wrote once the autumn winds begin to blow the dry leaves of the beaches driving them over the ground winter is not far but there's still a lot to do before winter comes autumn is the time to preserve the cabbages sauerkraut is a much needed vitamin source for the winter on many farms the cabbages are shredded by hand as in former times natural Tsering is one of mankind's oldest food preservation methods it depends on lactic acid bacteria with the big shredder the white cabbages are cut into slices the sliced cabbage is mixed with salt in a fermentation tub in former days this was done barefooted outside the winter winds are rising driving before them wafts of fog [Music] strange shapes are revealed by the driving fog they look as if they had fallen from heaven but these are blocks from one of the world's oldest mountain ranges when the last ice age had scoured the soil from the bedrock of the Bohemian Hills such granite blocks were left behind the people who inhabited this forest have always been fascinated by these blocks and gave the mystic meanings ice age erosion turned an originally high steep mountain range into the gentle forms that are now characteristic of the Bohemian Forest a process that began 300 million years ago all around there are little demonstrations of how life once began to colonize these mountains the latest rainfall has left a puddle it immediately attracts the first pioneers of nature radiolaria are struggling to get plankton food [Music] as the first snows descend on the Bohemian forest its inhabitants are forced to change their rhythm of life for the human inhabitants winter means leisure and leisure is needed to make snaps or brandy producing first-class snaps does not only take time but also great care only a small portion of the distillate will actually be used according to a practical rule the first liter of the second turn is only good for external use long winter nights have always been the time for making tools broom making is still practiced in many parts of the bohemian forest [Music] [Music] when the days are dark and the nights long memories from Bohemia's past echo through the winter woods [Music] a legendary predator once roamed these forests he was thought to be in league with the devil for more than a century people have believed the wolf to be extinct but now he is coming back in the capacitance in Eastern Europe wolves have survived centuries of persecution now they cautiously move back to the old bohemian hunting grounds they are still few solitary Wanderers have been known to move through forest corridors to Austria where they find favourable conditions in the Bohemian hills in Central European forests there are now more roe and red deer than there were 200 years ago so far packs have not been sighted but it is probably only a matter of time before wolves will again establish themselves in the border area between Czechia bavaria and austria this will only happen if people overcome their old enmity towards the wolf the resentments are deep-rooted even though wolves have never hurt anyone and they're not likely to do so in the future even if they should return in greater numbers to the green roof of Europe in fact going into the forest to get a Christmas tree should still be perfectly safe [Music] maybe someday if we only wanted this wilderness in the heart of Europe we'll be as wild as it once was [Music] butter is similar to that of elk habitats in Scandinavia in recent years elk have spread out into new territories from the Baltic countries and Poland elk are the largest member of the deer family in Europe they can weigh up to 400 kilos to keep such a massive body alive and moving just on a plant diet is simply tedious eating is about all else ever do the summer is already on the wane and the Rowan berries are getting ripe [Music] the signal red berries beckoned to song thrush who will spread the seeds all over the hills in former days the Bohemian Forest sheep was widespread a few years ago the breed was rediscovered it would have died out had not enthusiastic breeders brought it back from the brink only 25 individuals were left at a time today these traditional domestic animals are again found on many farms some plants are not eaten even by hungry sheep like other gentian species the Bohemian gentian also contains bitter substances this flower is a botanic speciality of this region it is not found anywhere else this in contrast is a new neighbor originally wasp spiders were only found in Mediterranean countries but in recent years these creatures with their conspicuous design are invading places as far north as the bohemian Hills these spiders are part of a more general northward movement probably caused by global warming a fly has overlooked the spider's fine web now poison is injected into its body and it is packed for later use long days of summer have given the apples color an unobtrusive sign of autumn being clean ice age erosion turned an originally high steep mountain range into the gentle forms that are now characteristic of the Bohemian Forest a process that began 300 million years ago all around there are little demonstrations of how life once began to colonize these mountains the latest rainfall has left a puddle it immediately attracts the first pioneers of nature radiolaria are struggling to get plankton food [Music] as the first snows descend on the Bohemian forest its inhabitants are forced to change their rhythm of life for the human inhabitants winter means leisure and leisure is needed to make snaps or brandy producing first-class snaps does not only take time but also great care only a small portion of the distillate will actually be used according to a practical rule the first liter of the second turn is only good for external use long winter nights have always been the time for making tools broom making is still practiced in many parts of the bohemian forest [Music] [Music] when the days are dark and the nights long memories from Bohemia's past echo through the winter woods [Music] a legendary predator once roamed these forests he was thought to be in league with the devil for more than a century people have believed the wolf to be extinct but now he is coming back a the rough work is done by tractors but the tender seedlings are still planted by hand it isn't these tender seedlings that attract the white stork to the tractors wake it's the ground beetles and other insects that are presented as on a plate all the stork has to do is pick them up [Applause] right now the demand is high the young stalks can never get enough usually stalks have to work tediously for their food when the tractor does the job they completely overcome their fear white stalks often live close to human civilization only few pairs build their nests in trees most of them prefer the advantages of a solid building the size of the building is not really an issue the parents take care of their nestlings for an entire two months before the young begin to fly then the whole family will take off on their long journey to Asia Minor and on to Africa for the time being however only the parents can enjoy a bird's view of the Bohemian Hills [Music] between vast forests rivers gently swing around the hills the largest of these meandering streams is the moldava the irregular line of its banks offers living space to many creatures who feel drawn to the water and seek variety [Music] today the rough work is done by tractors but the tender seedlings are still planted by hand it isn't these tender seedlings that attract the white stork to the tractors wake it's the ground beetles and other insects that are presented as on a plate all the stork has to do is pick them up right now the demand is high the young stalks can never get enough usually stalks have to work tediously for their food when the tractor does the job they completely overcome their fear white stalks often live close to human civilization only few pairs build their nests in trees most of them prefer the advantages of a solid building the size of the building is not really an issue the parents take care of their nestlings for an entire two months before the young begin to fly then the whole family will take off on their long journey to Asia Minor and on to Africa for the time being however only the parents can enjoy a bird's view of the Bohemian Hills [Music] between vast forests rivers gently swing around the hills the largest of these meandering streams is the moldava the irregular line of its banks offers living space to many creatures who feel drawn to the water and seek variety [Music] 1 billion cubic feet of timber had been supplied for the building of the Capitol in the Communist era parts of the spartanburg channel system were used until the 1960s in spite of such large-scale human intervention the nature of the Bohemian Hills has preserved its original character the greater part of Bohemia streams still rushes through the forests untamed many great old trees still collapse of old age and are not cut down with axe and sword such a forest offers ideal conditions for many complex life cycles [Music] [Music] on the check side in the protected areas one can still find fallen Giants that once stood 180 feet high as soon as such a giant organism has given up its long life it is colonized by millions of other much smaller creatures fungi lichen mosses and insects without old trees woodpeckers and many other bird species in their wake wouldn't be able to build or find suitable nesting sites [Music] humans to have profited for millennia from the everlasting cycles of the forest in such kilns wood is burned to charcoal for more than one week the logs have to glow under a cover of straw and clay before the kiln can be extinguished speed up the decay of the Fallen forest the forces of nature bring forth new life [Music] now in spring a profusion of wildflowers dots the meadows bringing out fresh patches of bright color from day to day [Music] well hidden between millions of meadow flowers there are precious rarities orchids of all sorts [Music] on the sunny slopes of the Bohemian Hills the sea of flowers attracts up to 500 butterfly species Adelbert snifter had sharpened his senses for the small beautiful things of nature when he wrote most men can only read the large print in the book of creation and overlook the miniature script on meadow flowers and butterfly wings wherever man expects more from nature than lovely flowers work is required [Applause] because of its granite base the soil of the Bohemian Hills is not very fertile so farmers need to improve their fields crop fields and pastures interrupts large stretches of forest the value of such natural land is rising the Bavarian and the Austrian parts of the Bohemian Hills are almost entirely in private hands today the rough work is done by tractors but the tender seedlings are still planted by hand it isn't these tender seedlings that attract the white stork to the tractors wake it's the ground beetles and other insects that are presented as on a plate all the stalk has to do is pick them up [Applause] right now the demand is high the young stalks can never get enough usually stalks have to work tediously for their food when the tractor does the job they completely overcome their fear I had the poet Adelbert IFTA who was born here to see nature and it's rough beauty in a new light [Music] Stifler wrote the masses of ice and snow clinging to the trees were of unspeakable beauty the trees stood like candelabra their candles sparkling with silvery light and with all this radiance and glitter not a single twig would move [Music] winter has not yet ended when for some inhabitants of the Bohemian hills spring is already in the air this young Lynx was born last May his parents are preparing for new offspring like with all felines mating is not exactly a gentle business with his jaws the mail grabs the female by the back of the neck outside the mating season the lives of both sexes are solitary after only a few minutes it's all over they linger for a while but soon they go their own ways again [Music] there are moments when winter loosens its grip and one might easily forget the sometimes destructive power of frost and ice [Music] what the weight of snow and ice due to the trees each winter becomes obvious when the land is producing first-class snaps does not only take time but also great care only a small portion of the distillate will actually be used according to a practical rule the first liter of the second turn is only good for external use long winter nights have always been the time for making tools broom making is still practiced in many parts of the bohemian forest [Music] [Music] when the days are dark and the nights long memories from Bohemia's past echo through the winter woods [Music] a legendary predator once roamed these forests he was thought to be in league with the devil for more than a century people have believed the wolf to be extinct but now he is coming back in the capacitance in Eastern Europe wolves have survived centuries of persecution now they cautiously move back to the old bohemian hunting grounds they are still few solitary Wanderers have been known to move through forest corridors to Austria where they find favourable conditions in the Bohemian hills in Central European forests there are now more roe and red deer than there were 200 years ago so far packs have not been sighted but it is probably only a matter of time before wolves will again establish themselves in the border area between Czechia bavaria and austria this will only happen if people overcome their old enmity towards the wolf the resentments are deep-rooted even though wolves have never hurt anyone and they're not likely to do so in the future even if they should return in greater numbers to the green roof of Europe as between three countries and in the shadow of the Iron Curtain a paradise has been preserved untouched wetlands grassy hills and vast forests combined into a landscape where man and nature have long been allies [Music] poets and composers have been inspired by its pastoral beauty and raw wilderness alike it is a place unrivaled anywhere in Central Europe the ancient bohemian hills are older than 300 million years much older than the Alps or the Himalayas the elements had time beyond human comprehension to smooth this one's higher mountain range into its present gentle shape today the remnants of this mighty range are a rolling woodland on the czech side large areas are protected within several national parks in the dense undergrowth a shy forest dweller leads a secret life the Lynx is a solitary ambush hunter patrolling a vast forest territory in the Bohemian hills Lynx have been known to hunt even near human settlements in this land humans are forest dwellers too in fact the forest has always seen their livelihood traditionally a forest patch is part of every farm when the men harnessed their horse to haul logs from winter forests time seems to her frozen [Music] the howl of a chainsaw brings back the present but just as in days gone by the local people are still dependent on timber as a raw material first in slow motion then with crashing speed one of the Giants leaves its place in the forest [Music] Archer script on meadow flowers and butterfly wings wherever man expects more from nature than lovely flowers work is required [Applause] because of its granite base the soil of the Bohemian Hills is not very fertile so farmers need to improve their fields crop fields and pastures interrupts large stretches of forest the value of such natural land is rising the Bavarian and the Austrian parts of the Bohemian Hills are almost entirely in private hands today the rough work is done by tractors but the tender seedlings are still planted by hand it isn't these tender seedlings that attract the white stork to the tractors wake it's the ground beetles and other insects that are presented as on a plate all the stalk has to do is pick them up [Applause] right now the demand is high the young stalks can never get enough usually stalks have to work tediously for their food when the tractor does the job they completely overcome their fear white storks often live close to human civilization only few pairs build their nests in trees most of them prefer the advantages of a solid building the size of the building is not really an issue the parents take care of their nestlings for an entire two months before the young begin to fly then the whole family will take off on their long journey to Asia Minor and on to Africa forests rivers gently swing around the hills the largest of these meandering streams is the moldava the irregular line of its banks offers living space to many creatures who feel drawn to the water and seek variety [Music] untouched high plateaus have become rare among Europe's landscapes in the Bohemian hills such places are still found this wilderness in the heart of Europe is heritage of the ice age erosion has rounded the hilltops and widened to the valleys at the end of the Ice Age numerous small glaciers have left behind Lakes Adelbert IFTA compared them to petrified tears set in the brow of the primeval forest the forest covers vast areas that have one the Bohemian hills of the designation roof of Europe peat swamps are evidence of an exceptional climatic condition the rare fact that precipitation is higher than evaporation lack of oxygen in the waterlogged ground prevents dead plant material from decaying this combination produces a unique plant community [Music] cotton grass spreads a bright fluff over the swamp flower cones float over the meadow like tiny pink balloons as spring progresses other inhabitants of the Bohemian Hills come out to claim their part of nature beyond the border on the Czech side the bohemian forest was a no-man's land for about half a century but here in Austria's mill district the land was always used by man but gently and in harmony with nature the summer heat blurs the air above the wheat fields when the Sun is at its highest it's harvest time

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