Today we were allowed to pick flowers!!

there are signs all over the Schatzalp Gardens reminding visitors not to pick the flowers, in fact not to even touch them. So it was rather special that today we were allowed to pick the flowers. 

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 but not allowed to pick these flowers

but not allowed to pick these flowers

 and another reminder not to pick the flowers 

and another reminder not to pick the flowers 

 not to pick these flowers

not to pick these flowers

 nor these

nor these

 and certainly not these

and certainly not these

 But these were the flowers we were to pick.  

But these were the flowers we were to pick.  

Three weeks ago we were five volunteers, now we are three. Claudia ran off with the cameraman on our second day, Bakhtyly has gone back to her books in Kazakhstan.  Our task was to remove the thistles, roots and all, without disturbing the seed heads. Bag them up and cart then down the slope to the compost pile. 

 The slope was quite significant, and we didn't quite finish the task 

The slope was quite significant, and we didn't quite finish the task 

 before the contractors arrived with their mower, the puff of blue smoke was ominous!! It was tough going for the machine, so you can imagine how we felt! 

before the contractors arrived with their mower, the puff of blue smoke was ominous!! It was tough going for the machine, so you can imagine how we felt! 

 this is the walk-behind reciprocating mower and heavy duty spiked wheels they use to mow fields on steep slopes. 

this is the walk-behind reciprocating mower and heavy duty spiked wheels they use to mow fields on steep slopes. 

Eventually they finished mowing and now we will probably rake it into heaps and cart it to the compost? Not too sure about that. 

 mowing completed. Flowers picked!!!

mowing completed. Flowers picked!!!

Thankfully the contractors had to windrow the cut grass and then gather it for compost and silage. This is how they did that.  

 Raking by hand.  

Raking by hand.  

Watching the driver of this specially fitted truck reminded me of the night I went with Nick, master snow groomer at Hotham, to see how the slopes are prepared for the next day of skiing. On the black runs the snow groomer is tethered at the top of the slope with strong cable and the groomer heads down the run, it's so steep you put your feet on the windscreen. Then at the bottom of the run the groomer pivots around, still tethered and is winched up the slope while still grooming. Mad! And exciting!!