Almabtrieb

The "Almabtrieb", which translates from German as: "drive from the mountain pasture", is an annual event in the alpine regions in Europe, referring to a cow train in autumn. During summer, all over the alpine regions cow herds feed on alpine pastures ("Almen" or "Alpen") high up in the mountains (a practice known as transhumance). In numbers, these amount to about 500,000 cows in Austria, 380,000 in Switzerland and 50,000 in Germany. While there is often some movement of cattle between the Almen during the summer, there is usually one concerted cow train in autumn to bring the cows to their stables down in the valley. This typically takes place in late September or early October. If there were no accidents on the Alm during the summer, in many areas the cows are decorated elaborately, and the cow train is celebrated with music and dance events in the towns and villages. Upon arrival in the valley, joint herds from multiple farmers are sorted in the Viehscheid, and each cow is returned to its owner. Series shot on Kodak Portra 160 35mm film with a Leica M6 and 35mm Summicron lens.

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Philip Wortmann

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