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
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 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, 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.
The Common Eider and Homo Sapiens: Fourteen Centuries Together
A popular science book by Alexandra Goryashko
Publication expected in 2019
The preparation of a popular science book on the world-wide history of the relationship between humans and the eiders – A Wild Bird and a Cultured Man (The Common Eider and Homo Sapiens: Fourteen Centuries Together) – for printing is nearing its end.
After a long grey fall, the real winter has set in, with short days and lots of fluffy snow. As to the color scheme, it has been reduced to just three: black, white and, in the brief hour or less the sun is up, pink.
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.
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.