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Tough Bloke

How's this for a misleading title, eh? Bloke ['bloːkhe] refers to a high plateau south of Ljubljana, Slovenia - a wild, forested and pristine piece of nature that was once a cradle of skiing in Central Europe; a gently undulating land lying between 700 and 850 meters above sea level. This kite aerial photography session was tough - and another kite was sacrified to the Gods of Wind on the dreaded Kite Eating Tree ...

Bloke are sparsely populated, and its forests are home to brown bears, wolf packs, lynxes, deer and other critters, so during a kite aerial prhotography session here we always have one eye on the kite above, and the other checking for unusual and scary movements in the shadows. Quite an adrenaline-filled experience!

Bloscica river meanders through the swampy land

We went there because the wind forecast was favourable, the place is really beautiful and KAP friendly, and as our kite club was again invited to the 2020 Gujarat International Kite festival in India, we didn't want to miss the opportunity for some kite flying practice.

Forests and meadows of Bloke

It was a great KAP session. The venerable Rokkaku was having some trouble on liftoff, but then it caught the wind higher up and it flew magnificently as always above this mesmerising, snow-covered and sun-bathed landscape.

As the plateau is almost flat, the river Bloscica and its tributaries meander vigorously, and some low lying meadows are quite swampy.

A tributary of Bloscica

Meanders of Bloscica river

As the sun was still up and the chance to do some more kite flying practice was not to be missed, we went to another spot to do another KAP session. The wind got a bit stronger, so we pulled out our dr.agon BW90 mini delta, designed for high winds. And at first it all went smooth ... maybe too smooth.

The mini delta was unstable from the beinning, and strong wind produced some nasty turbulence in the lower air layer.

Strong opposition effect with the sun directly behind the camera

Suddenly the delta went wild, looping crazily just above the tree tops - the gyrations were so severe that the camera was at times pointed straight up into the sky:

And then the line caught the trees and everything went down ...

Hello stranger! I'm up here!

Luckily we were able to recover the picavet rig and the camera, and most of the line ... our poor delta, however, was completely lodged in one of the tall spruces, some 20 meters above ground. It is still there - maybe a helpful gust of wind will bring it down sometime, but expectations are low. Another sacrifice to the gods of wind!

Panorama of Bloke plateau

Kite aerial photos shot with Nikon P330 on a Rokkaku (first session), and with Canon A810 on a now lost dr.agon BW90 mini delta (second session).

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