Mountain plants with their beautiful, colourful flowers are common in high altitude areas in Norway. On the coast there are not so many of them. But, here and there one nonetheless finds mountain plants, and this makes some coastal mountainsides a little bit different. Perhaps the growth on these mountainsides gives us a little glimpse of a distant past?
It is difficult to imagine that a plant can grow at the same place for many thousands of years: Climate and local environment change. Different species grow up and die out. Nonetheless, some plants get established, but don't manage to spread into new areas, because the climate is at the edge of what they can tolerate. Great fen-sedge is just such a plant.
Plants that grow in and beside water have to be prepared for marked and rapid changes in their living conditions. They must be able to tolerate living under water without drowning, and getting totally dried out without whithering. Many swamp plants are well adapted to these kinds of changes.
Deep down between the stone polished phyllite bedrock in Bordalsgjelet canyon, there is a cascading river. In close cooperation with hard polishing stones, the water has carved into the bedrock for thousands of years - and is still doing so today.
The Vosso is Hordaland's main artery, she has never run more richly than in our times, and no other river in western Norway carries so much water. The increase in the amount of water comes mainly from hydropower development, due to the transfer of water from other water systems. Climate change can also be a reason that the Vosso carries more water than before.
There is probably no bigger salmon to be found in the whole wide world than in Vosso. The average size varies from season to season of course, but for many years this fish has had an average weight of over 10 kilograms. Thumping big ones of 30 kg. have been fished from the river, but one must go back to the 1940s for the last salmon of this size last that was caught.
Many travellers between Mundheim and Gjermundshamn are captivated by the expansive view toward Øynefjord, Varaldsøy and Folgefonna. The barren pine forest on the slopes on the upper-side of the road is not seen by many. Who would think that this area is home to rare species of plants and animals, creatures who have made their homes here for thousands of years?