It was the first day of autumn and my favorite time of year. I love the autumn foliage, migrating birds, the harvest, the wine festivals, and the coming truffle season. So in celebration of the first day of the fall season we took a leisurely stroll on the Rhine Delta where it spills out into Lake Constance to take in the migrating birds and the wild grasses. Lake Constance is shared by three countries, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland with the alps as a dramatic backdrop. It’s such a lovely time in our town nestled against the Pfänder mountain when the trees are just beginning to turn vibrant colors before the long winter months. It’s a time of plenty with the harvests in and the bounty of the summer months displayed in full splendor at the local markets filled with squash and pumpkins of all shapes, sizes and varieties. It’s also time for the Austrian Schlachtpartie when the local restaurants offer up a hearty faire of meat varieties such as deer and wild pig dishes served up with dumplings, vegetables and pumpkin soups.
The lake was quiet after the bustle of the summer months and the Bregenzer Festspiele Opera and the tourists had gone home. The sailboaters have begun pulling their boats from the water and stored them for the winter and the last of the rowers made the best of the waning season’s weather. There is a lull before ski season begins so the city enjoys a quiet time during the autumn months. The lake fosters a wide variety of wildlife including 35 species of fish and 412 different species of birds as well as small game such as squirrels, rabbits, and deer. This time of year is a wonderful to view the migrating birds such as ducks, geese, loons, and the occasional stork as well as its permanent residents such as hawks, ducks, swans. The entire lake shore length is 273 kilometers, with 28 km of them in Austria. The lake is an essential drinking water source for the three countries as well as for the unique flora and fauna that rely upon a healthy lake ecosystem. So as the last strong rays of the autumn sun shone we enjoyed a quiet walk along the life giving shores of our lake.