My friend Emma is a conservation ecologist completing her PHD in Trento. She, specifically, is studying the native wild grasses that grow in the alpine regions of northern Italy.
On a sunny day while we were visiting Trento she took us out for the day to help her collect seeds for the seed bank at the museum in Trento.
She patiently explained what grass species we were looking for and how we had to collect them. So and off we all went together into a very old olive grove in the hills of Arco to collect seeds.
It was really interesting, at first thought it was all just tall grass, but when you are tasked to collect only one kind of grass and take the time to look a little closer you can see all the different types that are in the landscape. Not only the grass was interesting, but I also discovered that there are native succulents that grow all over the hillside. I was amazed, they were just everywhere. I never imagined they would grow anywhere but warmer climates.
As a reward for our hard work (which it wasn’t at all it was fun actually) Emma took us a little further down the road and into the hills to go for a swim in a beautiful lake called Lago di Lamar, it was full of fish and freezing cold, but we had worked up such a sweat seed collecting it was really refreshing.