The Montemuro Sierra, between the Douro and Beira Alta regions, rises to over 1300 meters in altitude. In the past, in the summer, it was a place of transhumance for large flocks of sheep and goats that came from the plateaus of the Beiras and remained there for some months to enjoy the green pastures.
There are some villages at the top of Montemuro, but with few people since many residents emigrated abroad, seeking better salaries and living standards. The small Pyrenean oak forests stand out at the top of Montemuro, magnificent micro-landscapes full of biodiversity.
Visiting one of these forests a few days ago, I marvelled at the very long beard lichens (Usnea) hanging from the branches of oak trees. These lichens are extremely sensitive to atmospheric pollution, and their prominent presence shows that we are in an area of extremely pure air.
The interior of the oak forest has little light, but I noticed that at that moment, some of the lichens were being illuminated by the sun's rays, creating an image of great aesthetic beauty. I know that the image became a bit complex for the standards of landscape photography, perhaps with too many interpretive elements. Still, in the end, "on stage," there is a main "actor" (the lichens) wholly framed within their natural environment.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor