LIMETREE, LYNX AND JAY

The woods around Schoenthal form a mosaic of native plant communities: deciduous trees thrive on dry limestone slopes, in particular mighty beech trees; beneath them, bitter cress, bastard balm and lily of the valley grow in spring. The striking Scots pines on the ridge have a Mediterranean air, as do the light-hungry shrubs, such as downy oak, service berry, hawthorn, cross-berry and juniper. The great diversity of mountain plants growing on the cliffs is also a rare sight. In lower cool and damp spots, by contrast, mosses, ferns, club moss and blueberries are more dominant. The chorus of birds also reveals a richness of species: the song birds, some of them rare, are melodious, the jays, jackdaws and woodpeckers make a lot of noise, while the lofty notes of the birds of prey hover in the sky. Strollers may well meet deer and chamois; brown hares, lynx and wild cats have also been spied in less easily accessible parts.

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