I hadn’t come across this local personality until last week, when he or she was pointed out to me near the Tschuggen T bar.
However, we have met now and I think everyone should be introduced as well. Here is the spotted nutcracker.
The spotted part of the name goes without saying, but the nutcracker comes from the species eating habits. In summer, they gather pine nuts and take them to store over the length and breadth of their territory. They do not migrate so come winter, they retrieve their stash of food, which is no small accomplishment given the snowfall. They mate for life and keep their chicks with them for a long time, teaching the youngsters how to gather nuts and store them. Notwithstanding their precarious life style, they seem to be flourishing.
The next time you are skiing to Averngarten or anywhere where the pine trees dominate, look out for this quite remarkable bird.
Today, the wind blew again. The morning started okay – grey but good skiing still – but by mid-day the wind had closed most of the mountain and skiing was limited to a couple of lifts on Mannlichen. A below par day brought 8,832 vertical metres in 23 lift rides.