Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Val Pellice - God's Creation

(Links with photos are available by hovering over key words)
God with infinite knowledge and power acts in perfect wisdom to sustain nature. Creation witnesses to His character and shows His infinite mastery, divine intelligence and wisdom. God also goes on taking an ongoing interest in it (ref Job 38 and 39).

Val Pellice north west of Turin, was formed in the Ice Age. It is part of the geological massif called the Dora-Maira. The origin of the Alps is thought to be the collision of two plates: the African and Eurasian plates.

Chapters 38 and 39 of The Book of Job tell us that each deer and mountain goat is carefully observed by its Creator, even though it may be unknown or unseen by humanity. Flora and fauna is a reflection of His sustaining power, particularly during the chill of a long alpine winter. It is a good idea to take a compass, good binoculars, as well as Nordic walking poles when trecking in Val Pellice and its side valleys. The wildlife is rich and varied depending on altitude.

Lower down one might see deer grazing in meadows at the valley at half light. In the lower forests are red squirrels, foxes, badgers, hares and small mammals. At the higher altitudes are whistling marmots, chamois, ibex and bighorn sheep, wild boar. There are ermine (stoats in white winter fur) on crags and scree. A shy lone wolf may be seen in unpopulated, high valleys.

An ermine - a stoat in winter fur may be spotted on scree slopes
By Mustela_erminea_winter.jpg: Steven Hintderivative work: Guerillero (talk) - Mustela_erminea_winter.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14519034

Bearded Vulture By Richard Bartz, Munich aka Makro Freak - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2888498

Val Pellice is a corridor much used by migrant birds including goldcrest and the magnificent bearded vulture . There are many sparrows, chaffinches, redstarts, white wagtail and grey wagtail, robins and a variety of tits. There are rock partridge, forest jays and in the upper valleys, ravens. Buzzards, kites and short-toed eagles hunt here circling.

There are four or five areas of significant interest for their flora and fauna:
  • The Conca del Pra, a magnificent side valley once a glacial lake 
  • Areas of Myricaria Germanica between Villar and Bobbio Pellice 
  • The Oasis of Pra-Barant which has an Alpine Botanical Garden 
  • The Pian Prà-Rorà Forest

Conca del Pra, off Val Pellice, was the site of a glacial lake - view looking towards Mount Granero Di Francofranco56 - Opera propria, Pubblico dominio, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7693635

The Conca del Prà 
This valley was once the base of a large glacial lake. Walkers can reach the slopes of Monte Granero from which they can see mighty peak, Monviso. All the mountains around Pra are full of edelweiss and wormwood, from which Genepì liquor may be produced. There are  happy, whistling marmots and ibex. A walking tour in late spring-early summer is recommended as at this time of year one can see many species of alpine flowers.

The Barant Oasis
This is 13% of the entire Val Pellice valley area. Near the Colle Barant is an Alpine Botanical Garden called Peyronel Bruno named after Bruno Peyronel naturalist of the Waldensian valleys. It has 300 different species of Alpine flora, of which over thirty are endemic. Here, in addition to wildlife mentioned above are:
Areas of Myricaria Germanica
Myricaria germanica, a small flowering shrub whose wood can be used for fuel covers a hundred hectares between the territories of Villar Pellice and Bobbio Pellice.

The Pian Prà Forest
Beech woods and clearings are typical of the Pian del Prà forest, near Rorà. There are Carabidae beetles.

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