Spring has come late and gone early this year. At first signs of good weather increasing number of cyclists started to run over the Danube bend. Since the bike path was finished between Szob and Budapest every year more and more townspeople are itching to go to the nature with their bikes. Fortunately or unfortunately many of them are not stopping to admire the subtle beauty of nature. This way the flowers are not being tread on, and the wild animals are not disturbed. That’s why I was insecure and stalled to write this post for two years now. After the bike path leaves Kismaros, from the left a beautiful but hidden meadow stretches towards the Danube. This is the Duna Rét-Island, a colorful sea of flowers.
|Tall buttercup, meadow buttercup (Ranunculus acris)|
The exact location was mentioned before on the Hungarian version of Donauinseln blog. Mostly treeless meadow and riverine associations are populating this area. We can separate this territory into two parts: on the riverside Magnocaricetalia associations, while on the higher ground flooded grasslands thrives. There are no signs of agriculture, apart from the the willow tree plantation ont he Kismaros Island. Impenetrable shrub an herbaceous vegetation growing mostly in a dried out river branch hides this meadow from the unwanted visitors. But on a few dirt roads – used by anglers – we may penetrate this beautiful island. If you decide to visit the meadow, please use these roads.
|Star-of-Bethlehem, (Grass Lily, Nap-at-Noon, Eleven-o'clock Lady) (Ornithogalum umbellatum)|
This area is protected, part of the Duna-Ipoly National Park and is also Natura 2000 area.
|Ribwort plantain, (English plantain, buckhorn plantain, narrowleaf plantain and lamb's tongue) (Plantago lanceolata)|
|Yellow flag, yellow iris, water flag (Iris pseudacorus)|
|Summer Snowflake or Loddon Lily (Leucojum aestivum), protected in Hungray!|
|Summer Snowflake or Loddon Lily (Leucojum aestivum)|
|Common comfrey (Symphytum officinale)|
|Oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)|
|(Clematis integrifolia), protected in Hungary!|
|Sedges (Carex sp.)|
|Field Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)|
|Willow tree (Salix sp.)|
Floods often visit this meadow, therefore this area did not became plowed land. However we may encounter remnants of riverine fruit cultivation as we are advancing towards Nagymaros.
You may find the most beautiful part of the island on the banks of the Kismaros side branch, where the trees occupied the old, upsilted river bed. We may encounter in April the small white Leucojum flowers growing in groups, covering the wet ground as a white blanket. Worth to see it!
Before river regulation works and intensive agriculture these meadows followed rivers like green belt. Today meadows like this are really hard to find. Therefore, if you are visiting one please protect it and possibly take more garbage with you, than you brought there!