Christina/ September 14, 2021/ The daily grind

Once again I am visiting the heathland. This time the Viehmoor and the distric of Gifhorn called Winkel are on focus. The highlight of the hike is the encounter with the shepherd Carlo Laser who has some tourist stories in his sleeve. When Carlo tells inside stories it is a pleasure to listen closely, after all he is a sympathetic and down-to-earth contemporary. My recreation hint: Listen to the moorland sheeps nibbling off the Calluna vulgaris!

Where is the start?
The Viehmoor lies between Ribbesbüttel and Leiferde. The hike must start here somewhere. Despite a GPS-track on the mobile sometimes it does not work out right away to reach the starting point. That’s why we take a turn too soon and end up on a country lane leading us nowhere. Okay, reverse gear and next try. A second time is sometimes more successful. This time we make it to the right parking space at the Viehmoor.

We follow the country lane alongside the Aller. After a while we arrive at the old sheep shelter and cross the Hermann Lönsweg. At this place two stones were errected showing the onward direction. We move towards the Heidesee.

Mirage in the heathland
And then the dazzling array happens. We reach the heathland of Gifhorn that is still blooming. And suddenly we are facing an almost trashy picture: moorland sheeps guarded by its shepherd. The sight airs so much calm and natural beauty that I am about to go nuts. I definitely have to record this moment. After a couple of pictures taken we get closer to the animals. We suddenly hear an akward clicking noise. It is coming from the moorland sheeps, producing this noise by eating away the erica. I listen to it and realize how relaxing it is.

We get into a conversation with the shepherd, Carlo Laser his name. Carlo is a very sympathetic and relaxed guy. We quickly realize that Carlo experienced a lot of things in his shepherd life. I ask him whether more visitors came during Corona. “Oh yes”, he says, “this place was packed, that’s why I only came here in the morning. But that’s not all. Laser also has to make sure that visitors will not leave the provided paths of the heathland of Gifhorn. After all it is a protected landscape with certain requirements. “I guess that many people do not know that”, he assumes.

Being asked for his shepherd dog he tells us that it is a really nice animal but it does not like it to be approached from behind. She might bite in that case. Well, I can understand that. After the chat we say goodbye. I take a final look at the beautiful landscape. We then move on towards the Heidesee.

Colouring of the leaves
We pass by the Heidesee and the Aller channel and reach the district Winkel. We walk a little bit on the nature trail and reach the forest again. Here we encounter the first coloured leaves of the year. It is a maple tree which shows the first bright red leaves. Later in the forest we come across a place where the coloured leaves lies like garlands around the trees. A great sight. It almost looks Christmassy.

Finally the arrive at the nature-sanctuary Viehmoor. It has a nice resting area close to the water. We take a short break before we go back to the car.