I had been meaning to visit the Vysenske (Vyšenské) Kopce Nature Reserve, to be found just to the north of Cesky Krumlov below the Klet Mountain for several years. I had even bought a book about it in the Information Centre. But it wasn't until yesterday that I actually made it. And how I kicked myself about missing out on this lovely oasis for all those months.
I took the little train to Cesky Krumlov, then I walked up the road that leads to Vysny, and at the crossroads I followed the signs to the Headquarters of the Blansky Les Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, outside of which was a large board about the reserve and the signposted walk that takes you through it. The couple of hours that followed were ones of sheer delight. The sun shone, the views were fantastic and the may flowers were out in profusion.
The Nature Reserve encloses a number of very different habitats - conditioned partly by the fact that it sits on a change in the geology and so has plants suited to limestone, granite, and loam in a relatively small area. The walk takes you through all these areas and has information boards at key points to help you identify what you are seeing. For the wildflower lover, such as yours truly, there is even an area at the beginning with the flowers in a bed labelled to show you what to look for.
So what flowers did I find? Well too many to detail here - the anemone at the top of this post is rare in the Czech Republic and is not seen in the UK and yet in the reserve you can see crowds of them waving their white heads on tall stems in the grassland and at the wood's edge. The spring pea also is not to be found in England and has as you can see the most vibrant colours. There were bushes covered with blossom - bird cherry, wild privet, hawthorn and the wild berberis (shown above) - and which so hummed and vibrated with bees collecting nectar that they sounded like small electric substations. There was so much more to see and hear.
I shall return to Vysenske Kopce in the summer and blog again about the summer flowers. Suffice it to say that if you visit Cesky Krumlov, do make the trip here and enjoy this area's natural treasures as well as its historical ones.
For more Czech flowers in May visit my next post
And for August flowers