With its white coat of snow and icicles and myriads of small crystals that look like geometric works of art. In the valleys and on the slopes the snow is still so thick every year that the alpine huts are snowed in up to the windows. Cows and dairymen are safe in their farms at lower altitudes. But not the wild creatures of the mountains! They need strategies to survive the cold season and to defy snow masses, cold and ice. And some seem to do it so easily that they even raise their young in the middle of winter.
But how do animals, plants and fungi cope with the annually recurring ice age, which from our perspective is a time of need? But the many adaptations in nature prove that winter is not so much an annually recurring adversity as an integral part of the natural cycle of the year and the living environment of species. They are adapted to cold and frost. That is why the animals and plants of the snowy areas at the edge of the Alps suffer particularly from climate change and go into a tailspin with the unpredictable ups and downs of the snow line.
It is still possible to observe how the animals are changing their behavior, altering their diet and – apparently – turning their ecology upside down. And even that exists in the mountains: animals and plants that need winter even in summer.