A cold morning I woke up well before sunrise, the time for a coffee and was out in my car driving carefully on the mountain road lightly covered in frost. The sound of ice crushing under the tires and the thermometer showing a temperature of 11°C below zero. Shortly before reaching the beginning of the trail that I wanted to follow, I met a busy fox, all fluffy in its winter coats, patrolling the very same road I was following. A brief glance and it jumped into the bushes, disappearing.
It’s a weird winter here in Abruzzo. There has been much less snow than usual, yet the days are very cold and a strong, eastern wind is blowing all the time.
Obviously, one of the main duties in my fieldwork for the “Montagna Madre/Stories of wilderness” project, is to know where to find animals to photograph. To do so, a good knowledge of the species’ biology is mandatory and developing “that” sense for the place can usually help a lot. But this winter’s unusual conditions deeply affected the behaviour of many animals and made most of my reference points pretty useless. It got, indeed, very difficult for me to predict where the animals will be.