Mountain pine shrubs
A walk through the mountain pines
Where the forest ends and meadows begin, mountain pines (Pinus mugo) are the most characteristic landscape element. Here, when the snow is still fresh, within the dark green mountain pines, the bright pink colour of the winter heath (Erica carnea), one of the first plants to bloom, stands out. Going towards the warm season also shrubs of rhododendron show up and colour the place with their crimson flowers. There are three different species on Monte Bondone: alpenrose (Rhododendron ferrugineum), hairy alpenrose (Rhododendron hirsutum) and small alpenrose (Rhodothamnus chamaecistus) that is typical of the Eastern Alps.
In these places, if you are lucky enough, you could find one of its inhabitants: the black grouse (Lyrurus tetrix). The female is small and elusive, it has a mimetic feathering, while the male has a striking black plumage with metallic shades. During Spring they choose calm courting places, commonly known as 'singing arena'.