These well capture the spirit of the place in late September. So I’m sharing almost the entire set..
That’s the final end of Kandalaksha’s most spectacular ruin. The people appear to be having fun observing the process. The massive columns at the front are to be brought down today..
Something different and drastic must have been happening here epochs ago because large stones along the southern edge of Kolvitsa Lake don’t look like boulders elsewhere, and their arrangement in a long row along the water is beyond me to take a wild guess as to why. Below are some photos from our yesterday’s walk among the rocks by the lake in the late fall mist.
Normally this little and rare (several hundred pairs in the entire Murmansk Region) birdie lives in a rather dispersed fashion, with one to three pairs per 10km of stream. But today we have been observing at least five individuals at once, diving into bubbling water to get their bugs and worms and what not.
Nordic walking, where people, for the reasons that elude me, pace along with skiing sticks but no skis, is vastly popular in Kandalaksha. Today I noticed a poster announcing a Nordic walking competition that is to take place on Sunday, October 21, in the city park. The poster indicated no time when the event is taking place but most happenings of this sort start. The location was given as “on the left side of the Niva River”. I assume it along the trail in the city park, accessible by a suspended bridge from Ulitsa Naberezhnaya.
The Officers’ House, built in late 1930s, was abandoned in 2010, suffered from a series of fires, and up to now has been standing as the most spectacular of local ruins. Recently a decision to bring it down by a series of explosions and demolish it starting October 15 was announced. I’m truly sorry to see this monument to the Soviet epoch go. Here are a few photos by Alexandra from our last visit there in September this year..
Last night, October 7, at about 10 pm, we were treated to spectacular northern lights display clearly visible right over the town despite light pollution. That may have been the brightest display I’ve ever seen. First we even thought the building was on fire.
Here are some photos taken with an ordinary camera.
A moose is said to have been stuck in the hydroelectric canal of the Niva hydroelectric station, about 10km north from Kandalaksha, on Sunday morning. Apparently the animal tried to swim across but could not get out on the opposite side. The moose was successfully pulled ashore..
The fall reproductive season has started in the Murmansk Region moose, which makes the animals careless and aggressive, and likely to end up in front of your car. I hear of at least a couple of accidents each year involving vehicles hitting moose on local roads, usually with ugly consequences. And yes, they can be aggressive. I was kicked by one in the Sokolniki part in Moscow a few years ago, after trying too eagerly to take a good photo. And in my younger days I witnessed a scene when a female moose chaced a boy. Never thought a human could run so fast! Come to think of it, both incidents happened when the animals were likely to be in heat, in spring in the former and in the fall in the latter story. You’ve been warned.
My tough and somewhat cruel mate used the fact that today I had no teaching engagements at all – a rare case during the school year – to drag me out into the hills in the vicinity of Luvenga, ~10 miles east of Kandalaksha along the south shore, with the purpose of “contemplating natural beauty”.
I’d estimate we walked at least 10km up and down a wet, muddy and rocky trail and got to the height of 500+ meters. Now my legs are falling off.
I admit however the scenery was indeed on the beautiful side, and I’m ready to take you travellers to the hills in exchange for a modest financial contribution to keeping us afloat. The trip includes a picnic.
Of things practical/edible – even though we are sick of mushrooms at this time of the year – we’ve collected one perfect King bolete and several Weeping boletes. Lots of blueberries and some lingonberry in the hills even though there very few berries by the sea because of the summer drought.