The Eider Book is here!!

Finally, it has been printed and delivered to Kandalaksha. Here we are after unloading nearly two tons of books (900 Russian ones and 500 English copies, over two kilos each):

The author (center), the typesetter (left), and I, the humble translator (right) in my home office, where the bulk of the books is presently stored

Actually, they arrived two or even three weeks ago but I was a bit busy with teaching English and then buying/registering a “new” car to make a timely announcement. 

See the book description at www.alexandra-goryashko.net/en_eider_book.htm

The cost of the English version is 50 dollars/Euros plus shipping (another $35-40). Free (except for shipping) from those who sponsored the book while it was being written. If interested in purchasing it please write to manfriday@yandex.ru.

A few dozen of them stayed in St. Petersburg and some went to Moscow, and you can pick them up there if convenient. Please write to me for details.

Yet another trip to Kuzomen

With a new car and a camper fixed up after last summer’s and winter beating we’ve set up on our traditional August trip to Kuzomen. Here are a few photos from our way to Kuzomen the August of 2020.

Ran into a fairly large (about 50 heads) herd of cows in Umba:

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A cluster of spring disasters

The most striking piece of bad news is the collapse of the railroad bridge near the City of Kola on or around June 3, thus cutting the railroad connection to Murmansk. This was caused by high level of water in the Kola River. The governor apparently declared it will be restored within five days which, of course, is totally unrealistic.

 

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Remains of the Kolvitsa hydroelectric station

Finally made it to the right (lower) side of the Kolvitsa river yesterday and saw what was left of the famous hydroelectric power station that was built in 1949 and supplied energy to Kolvitsa and a few neighbouring villages until the mid-1960s. Five or six boulder-filled log cages are still there. Was impressed.

Realities of local life: the road to Teriberka

One every few days we hear a report of a bus full of Chinese travelers stuck on this road. Not surprising. Conditions here, in the south of the Kola Peninsula, are much milder. Bare ice everywhere is the biggest of our road problems..
A recent photo by Alexander Popov

Hungry bears in berry-less woods

This summer was exceptionally cold. As a result, there are practically no berries in the woods. That leads to a lot of hungry bears roaming the forests and occasionally exploring garbage dumpsters in a desperate attempt to put on some fat before the winter sets in. Lots of bear excrements in the woods between Malinovoye, where our dacha is, and Luvenga. The locals who are in the habit of taking early morning walks say there are four of them in the five-kilometer long and narrow strip of trees between the seacoast and the road. As of recent, they have been containing a lot of rowanberries, which is not at all typical bear food.

A pile of bear crap with undigested rowanberries for your aesthetic enjoyment

A story from Chernaya Rechka (“Black River”) in Karelia reached me yesterday. A black bear occupied a cranberry field and refused to leave even when the local women shouted at it – not a typical behaviour for this beast. Now these women are said to go cranberry picking accompanied by men with shotguns.

Lighthouse Foundation collecting funds for the publication of the book on the history of eider ducks and people

Lighthouse Foundation, a German organization that effectively promotes sustainable development of the coastal areas around the world, has listed the collection of funds for the printing of my mate Alexandra’s book on the relationship between Eider ducks and Man throughout history among its projects.

Here is the beginning of their page on Alexandra’s Eider book:

This is the world’s first pop­u­lar sci­ence pub­lic­a­tion ded­ic­ated to the world-wide his­tory of the re­la­tion of Man (Homo sapi­ens) and the Com­mon ei­der (So­ma­teria mol­lis­sima): from the ei­ders in the ex­cav­a­tions of an­cient hu­man set­tle­ments to the ei­ders in art; from myths and le­gends to the latest sci­entific re­search; from the ei­ders as hunt­ing trophies to them in the mu­seum col­lec­tions.

Read more at the Lighthouse Foundation site >>

Those wishing to make a contribution towards the printing of the book will find banking information to the right of the Eider page on the Lighthouse Foundation site.