Discussion in 'Samovar Teahouse' started by Fulcrum, Jan 11, 2014.
Belogorsky Convent, Perm Krai:
The Moscow River near my dacha a couple of years ago - late April I think. The beavers have been busy.
By the way, the river is very clean there: plenty of fish and lots of people go bathing in it. It's not very deep (about 1 metre at the most) and a man can easily wade across waist deep in most places.
Do you often see beavers or are they very rare?
I've only seen their handiwork around the area of my dacha and never actually seen one swimming. They're not rare, apparently.
From: The Beaver in Russia and Adjoining Countries
In many areas of the former Soviet Union people adapted to post-Soviet era reforms by overexploiting natural resources. The European beaver, Castor fiber, represents a wildlife resource that was depleted in the years following perestroika. Because of this we wanted to document the current status of the beaver population in the Russian Federation and adjoining countries, examine conservation efforts, and where appropriate, investigate the effectivness of harvesting beavers as a management tool. Data are derived from official statistics, publications, questionnaires, and field studies in Russia, Belarus, the Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. At present beavers are found in 60 of 87 regions of Russia, 6 regions of Belarus, 20 regions of the Ukraine, and 3 regions of Kazakhstan. In 1997 the estimated number of beavers in these countries was 232,000, 24,000, 6,000, and 1,000, respectively. However, beavers are not distributed evenly throughout the countries. For example, more than 75% of all Russian beavers are concentrated in 14 taiga regions from Karelia to the Ural Mountains. The decrease in beaver numbers observed immediately after perestroika has stopped in the last few years, and since 1996 there has been an average annual increase of between 6% and 20%. Beaver harvesting occurs in 40 regions of Russia, and in 1997/98 a fee for using the fur resource was implemented. The range of beavers is expanding in south Siberia and Kazakhstan, and North American beavers, Castor canadensis, have either been introduced into, or immigrated to northern regions. In the Far East Region only North American beavers are found in two of the three subdivisions. We discuss a multi-purpose management model that includes management of genetic (subspecific) resources, preservation, and regulated harvesting. Management is necessary to main-tain the beaver population in Russia and insure the survival of this biologically important species.
They can also be dangerous, judging by the video attached to this story:
Beaver 'bites man to death'
I think the beavers that live around the streams and in the Moscow River near my dacha are newcomers, though. I'd never never seen evidence of beaver 10 years ago, but about 3 or 4 years ago I noticed their presence and a beaver lodge and damn very near to my dacha.
An ice slide and a big wooden one in our local Tagansky Park, Moscow, 7th March, 2011.
Vysotsky Monastery near Serpukhov
January 27th, 2013
Walled monastery, part of Moscow defence line against slave-raiding Crimean Tatars, founded in the 1370s. The modern monastery derives its present prosperity from the venerated copy of the icon of the Inexhaustible Chalice, which attracts hundreds of pilgrims from all over Russia and abroad. The icon is said to be particularly effective in the treatment of alcoholism.
That's not why I was there, by the way.
We were here, at a nature reserve near Serpukhov:
to see a herd of these:
European Bison, that are now thriving well in parts of Western Russia.
February 8th, 2006
A lone Guard of Honour by the Eternal Flame in Alevsandrovsky Garden by the Kremlin wall; the State Historical Museum with actors in period costume; St. Basil's Cathedral, Red Square
The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Moscow; February 10th, 2006.
The Kremlin and the frozen Moscow River as seen from a footbridge near the cathedral.
February 12th, 2006.
Mosaic at the then recently opened metro-station Pobeda [Victory] at "The Hill of Reverence", site of a museum dedicated to the Soviet victory against the fascist invader:
The spotless concourse of the recently opened station:
February 12th, 2006
Changing the Honour Guard
February 12th, 2006
Inside GUM [Главный универсальный магазин; Glavnyi Universalnyi Magazin; literally "main universal store"]
The hearts signal the approach of St.Valentine's Day, a Western "tradition" that many Russians seem to have taken to with gusto.
As can be clearly seen in the photograph, the wearing of animal skins and furs is not considered in Russia to be "politically incorrect": in fact, it is considered to be common sense to do this, especially on days such as the ones when these February 2006 photographs were taken. If I remember rightly, the maximum daytime temperature that week was minus 21C. One week earlier, the night time temperatures hit minus 31C.
The Central museum of the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945
Situated on Poklonnaya Gora (Hill of Reverence - literally "bowed-to hill") is a memorial complex that was dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the victory against fascism in Europe.
It was on Poklonnaya Hill that Napoleon vainly waited for the keys to Moscow in 1812. During World War II soldiers passed by Poklonnaya Hill whilst leaving for the front during the Battle of Moscow, October 1941 - January 1942.
The complex is situated in 135 hectares and includes the Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War with an adjoining picture gallery, victory monument and 3 memorial places of worship: a Russian Orthodox chapel, a synagogue and a mosque built in memory of those believers who fell in their defence of the USSR.
The Museum is located on Victory Square. The central alley of Victory Park has 1,418 fountains symbolising the duration of the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945 (1,418 days and nights).
The museum, was opened in 1986 and contains about 50,000 exhibits of military history and 285 Books of Remembrance containing the names of those who fell, which volumes are displayed in special showcases.
Pictures taken on February 12th, 2006.
1. The museum and the Victory obelisk, at the top of which is Nike, the goddess of Victory.
2. The Russian Orthodox memorial chapel.
3. The foot of the obelisk: destroying the fascist beast.
4. A Soviet T-34 tank bedecked in snow. There is a large display of Soviet and captured fascist tanks and artillery at the museum.
5. The other side of the main building looking westwards and away from the city centre. Stalin's state-dacha was situated not far away from here and in that direction. It no longer exists now as the ever expanding city long ago engulfed the territory where the dacha once stood.
There was a blizzard blowing that day, that's why the pictures are so gloomy and you can just see small smudges on the photographs caused by snowflakes.
Lovely photos ME, thanks for sharing!
Inside the museum.
The Hall of Glory beneath the cupola. All around are engraved the names of those awarded the honour "Hero of the Soviet Union"
The Sword of Honour
Engraved on its scabbard are the words said by Alexander Nevsky at the end of Eisenstein's eponymous 1930s film:
WHO COMES TO US WITH THE SWORD SHALL PERISH BY THE SWORD!
Inside the museum are several rooms containing dioramas of battles that took place during the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945. Below is part of the diorama depicting the taking of the Reichstag during the Battle of Berlin.
Same day, February 12th, 2006, back in the city centre, which is only a short metro ride away.
Red Square, view of GUM
The huge hotel "Rossiya" can be seen in the right background. This building many held to be a Soviet architectural monstrosity that clashed with much of the ancient architecture situated in the very heart of Old Moskva - so it was demolished a couple of years ago.
The Cathedral of the Icon of Our Lady of Kazan, Red Square
It was from the roof of this church that an immigrant from Guinea, Africa, started shouting out "Allahuh akbar Allah! on the Russian Orthodox 2013 Christmas Eve (January 6th 2014)
He wasn't assaulted by anyone - in fact, several in the crowd just laughed at him. He was taken down from the roof by a cop and he was declared to be schizophrenic. He's in a psychiatric hospital now.
By the way, that's not atmospheric pollution in the right background: it's just hot exhaust water vapour from a natural gas fired power plant condensing in the very cold air.
The person, centre, whose back is facing you and who is wearing an ankle-length, inside-quilted leather coat and fur hat is Moscow Exile. You may catch a glimpse of him lurking around on some other pictures if you look carefully.
Same day, same place...
The Kremlin Spassky Clock Tower and Gate
A reconstruction of what many once thought the "Eighth Wonder of the World": The Great Wooden Summer Palace at Kolomenskoye, built in the early 17th century and demolished in 1768 on the orders of Empress Catherine II - too Russian for her German tastes I should think.
They say not a nail was used in the construction of the original. There was no glass used either: too expensive 400 years ago, so they used mica sheets, of which stuff there was plenty in Russia.
Kolomenskoye Park is not very far from my home and is one of my favourite places in Moscow.
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