Black, white, and pink

Somewhat belated Season’s greetings!

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.

 

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The Officers House is being exploded at the moment

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..

 

See also the Announcement of the upcoming demolition and the Big report, with lots of photos, of our visit to the Officers House.

Seen five White-throated dippers at a time

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.

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Nordic walking competition Oct. 21 2018

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.

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The most spectacular of Kandalaksha’s ruins is set to be exploded and leveled

Photo by Dr. Morita. August 2018.

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..

The facade is there. I’m neither an architect nor a civil construction economist but isn’t a building restorable as long as the facade and the walls are there? Perhaps restoration takes more subtlety and flexibility, compared to leveling things and building anew, than we Russians are capable of?

The roof is gone, and the central stage is exposed..

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Intense aurora borealis right over Kandalaksha last night

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.

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Moose pulled out of canal near Nivsky

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..

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Moose in heat

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.

2018 Northern lights season has started

A few sightings of this phenomenon have been noticed starting as far back as two weeks ago. No, you don’t need it to be cold but darkness and clear sky are essential. See some of my old advice to those seeking to see Aurora, including a link to the local Kandalaksha group of Aurora hunters.

The 25th Arctic Trophy race starts off Kandalaksha on Sunday, Sept. 2 2018

Yet another of these silly events… As much as I dislike motors and vehicles and other activities that take me away from my couch I’ll share this piece of news because this sort of happenings does attract viewers, among whom an occasional client may materialize.

Starts on Sunday, September 2 2018, on the Kandalaksha’s main square, and proceeds to an undisclosed location somewhere on the Barentz Sea shore, probably ending up in Murmansk.

The race lasts a week, and participants are, in addition to Russia, from Norway and Finland. The Norwegians will be riding their ATVs.

This is the 25th race of this sort.

Here is a video from one of the past Arctic Trophy events to give you an idea what it looks like.