The evergreen Rhododendron Ponticum is a native plant to the Strandja mountain in Bulgaria. It has survived the last ice age as this part of the continent remained ice free. It loves the deep, shady and humid gorges, as it can get very dry and hot in this part of the country in the summer. Together with the Eastern beech tree and the local varieties of ivy and other wild vines, it forms thick and lush forests that often resemble real jungle. It is a protected species in Bulgaria and the areas where it grows are usually reserves or protected areas withing the boundaries of Strandja Natural Park. The blooming of the Zelenika, as they call it here, attracts visitors from around the country each year. These dark, rocky, wet and lush with vegetation stream valleys are favourite spots of mine to visit in spring.
In 2020 the pandemic gave me an unique opportunity to record sounds in real-time for long periods of time completely without or with very few interruptions by jet planes flying over. I managed to record an eight hour recording of the sounds in this forest and to turn it into a “no loop” birdsong video. You can see it here: https://youtu.be/nlRfDVSebAA