Every midsummer my wife, our daughter Maja and me used to climb up the Belchen, the highest mountain in the region. It is not to far, our farmhouse is just at the foot of the Belchen, it takes us about 3 hours to hike the top. The Belchen is told to has been a magic place, where Celtic Druids have done their rituals, above all it is assumed that it has been a kind of observatory of the Celts for to watch the movements of the planets. It is told that our Belchen here is one section of a big observatory of the Celts, being connected with the Ballon d´Alsace, the Petit Ballon, the Grand Ballon in France and the Jura Belchen in Switzerland. The name of the Celtic god of the sun is Belakus, so this region has been a place of sun-worship.
It´s really the 21th of June in 2010, but it is cold today: 54F, a long cold winter, almost no spring, hard to believe. The steep rise makes us sweating, the trail is sometimes stony, sometimes a bit muddy, again no sunshine.
Not to long ago during summertime the slopes of the Belchen has been a precious grazing land for the cattle of the farmers here. Cause of the rural exodus, this is history. The trees are coming back, at the foot of the Belchen you hike among coniferous woods, the slopes up hornbeam, pasture beech, moutain maple, osier and rowan is growing becoming more and more smaller,at the top of the Belchen you´ve passed the timber line.
About halfway we were passing one of most strange forests I know, it´s like a magic forest, there have to be elves and dwarfs. The beeches and hornbeams growing here had been damaged by the cattle grazing here in the past. When the cattle has gone, the trees grew into bizarre shapes.
Passing this forest makes me always thinking about the appearance of Mother Earth, of how to come over with every kind of conditions. Every obstacle is a challenge for to try something new, for to create new designs…………..that´s evolution.
Due to this forest I call the Belchen hornbeam- mountain, even there are growing only a few but very impressive hornbeams. The so- called pasture beech is white beech damaged by the cattle, whereas hornbeam is a member of the birches.
Climbing up the Belchen every years midsummer made me thinking of what has grown within myself. Have my dreams come true? It is time to take care of the fruits, from now on days are becoming shorter. Hiking up the steep slope passing the beauty of the trees and rocks is a my way of honouring all the trees I ´ve cutted for to make bows and arrows.
When we reached the valley again, summer has begun. Since 3 weeks it is really hot at the foot of hornbeam- mountain.