Landscape around Lake Baikal

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Pokoiniki “decedents” is a cape on the Baikal shore, covered by miraculous pinery. There are two variants of the explanation of this name origin. The first is connected with the tragic circumstances: a heavy disease suddenly appeared in a local nomad camp of the Evenk and all its inhabitants died out. The sight of Crosses, towered on the cape, scared away the seafarers. The second variant is attributed to the word pokoinyi “calm”, “quiet”. In works about the Baikal the first variant is more popular.

Not far from Cape Pokoiniki there is Solontsovaya Fold, or Solntsepad – a deep and steep valley that goes across the Baykal Range, and a river with the same name. There is a path along the valley, leading to the Lena headwaters. In summer evenings before the sunset, when the sun is in the west, this valley shines through with sunbeams. V.V. Lamakin put forward an interesting suggestion about geological prospects of this area: "Someday in geological future, i.e. in several millenniums Solontsovaya Fold will advance up to the riverbed of the Lena by its upper course. Then all located above current of this river will move along the steep riverbed of Soloncovaya Fold, and the high part of the Lena will become the influx of Lake Baikal. The interception of the Lena by Soloncovaya Fold will occur. The lower part of the Lena and after that will continue its flow in the former direction, but so to say in a headless way, and with less amount of water".

It is important to remind that one of the greatest Siberian Rivers with the beautiful name – Lena – heads not far from the glorious lake, in spurs of the Baikal Range. And close to the Lena headwaters there is Rita River headwaters; the latter falls into the Baikal at the described above mysterious Cape Rytyi. The name of the river is considered to originate from such variants of Evenki words Ene, Yenesi (Enisey), Elyusne that mean "big river". In the Yakut folk legend "Er Sogotoh" the river is called Ilin-Vostochnaya. Possibly, the combination, symbiosis of the variants led to the form Lena in Russian. The river is really big, even on a global scale. In fact, there was another suggestion made by Irkutsk General-Governor Semivskiy N.V. in early 19th century that the river got such a name because of its "laziness" (Russian len) as the current of is still and calm. The Yakut people used a lot of other names for the Lena: Oryus that means “river”, or Tabilyah that means “channel”, quite often they used the high-flown word Ebbe that means “grandmother” to name it.

From its beginning in the mountains of Baikal the Lena passes over 4200 kilometers to the Arctic Ocean and its delta reminds that of the famous Amazon. Even ocean-liners enter lower reaches of the Lena. Beside the Sacred Sea it begins with two small branches (right and left) that are situated near the headwaters of the small river Shartli – a short inflow of Baikal. In the area wherefrom the Lena runs out there are several small lakes, amongst them only two have their own names – Eye of Land and Headwaters. The farthest one, a small lake the size of 20 to 30 meters is the head of the Lena. The small lake was found by the famous researcher of the Baikal nature and writer S.K. Ustinov.

The given connection with the Arctic Ocean reminded me of the hypothesis that River Lena pool used to be Baikal sewer to the North Sea long before the Angara. Its conventional name was Primanzurka. Geologists found a part of an ancient river valley now located high above the Baikal level, but at that time it was situated at the lake level. It is quite possible that through this ancient sewer the North Sea representatives – omul and seal – have come to live in Baikal.

Two great "water unicums" gave name to the Baikal-Lensk Natural Reserve, founded in 1987. It occupies the area of over 659 thousand hectares of mountains and woods on the northwestern seaside of the Baikal within Irkutsk Oblast. It comprises the Lena headwaters systems, and some other unique places of the Baykal Range and the lake seaside. They fulfill a vegetation and animal world monitoring; about one hundred of its employees contribute to the preservation of the Sacred Sea.

One more beautiful cape of the Baikal is Cape Elohkin, and it is mostly known as the border between the Irkutsk Oblast and the Buryat Republic. I do not appreciate that territorial division of the Sacred Sea. Take for instance the Baikal-Lensk Reserve. Why is it necessary to limit it only by the territory of Irkutsk Oblast rather than to extend it to unique places of the republic nearby? The further the economy of the region develops, the more vigorous are the voice of those who call out to preserve the lake; and creation of special economic areas of tourist-recreation type are projected on two coasts absolutely indivisible, and you start feeling the whole conventionality, uselessness of such borders. They divide "in two parts" even the lake water surface. Probably, it is time to think about the “value” of territorial and political ambitions, that go against the vital interests of the Baikal.

On the Baikal Range not far from Mountain Cherskyi there is Lake Guitar, named so by romantics of mountains in connection with its definite resemblance of the eponymous musical instrument. The lake is full of crystal clean water, has sandy-gravel bottom with large "breakaway" at the bottom. It is a wonder that the color of water in it changes depending on the weather from deep blue to grey. There are two types of fish in the lake – the endemic galyan and grayling.

On the western coast of the Baikal from Cape Elohkin to Cape Kotelnikovskii you can see steppe, taiga and high mountain landscapes; here you can see nestlings of the Red Book "inhabitants" – black-craw and red-craw loons, ospreys and bald eagle - belokhvost. In tarns of the Baykal Range there is one more endemic – a unique insulated population of the undersized form of grayling. One more point of interest of these places is the gathering of brown bears when in spring they come to the coast to catch caddis. That is why these places sometimes are named the Coast of Brown Bears.

We should speak more about caddis – a unique phenomenon of the Baikal. Caddices are the inhabitants of fresh water; they are close relatives to butterflies. As any insect, caddis in its development passes the stages of egg, maggot, pupa and imago – an adult specimen. Through porous ice maggots come out to the surface and rush ashore. Here, basked in the sun, they change into flying insects, and then their marriage time begins. Myriads of insects black in color and with black wings, rise in the air and celebrate the time of their love. The Evenk, who constantly come across this phenomenon, gave it its typical name lipachan that means "stuck together" since male and female insects mate and continue their short life "duet". The male soon dies, and then, having postponed its eggs, the female does the same.

The most interesting thing is that lipachan is a delicacy for many animals and birds. The latter make a feast ashore, collecting caddices on stones and sand bars in enormous amount. The shoals of fish – omul and haryuza join the feast, catching "unwary lovers" from the surface.

See also

Literature

  1. A.D. Karnyshev "The Many Faces of Multilingual and Mysterious Baikal"© BSU Publishing House, 2011

Выходные данные материала:

Жанр материала: English | Автор(ы): Karnyshev A.D. | Источник(и): The Many Faces of Multilingual and Mysterious Baikal. Ulan-Ude. 2012 | Дата публикации оригинала (хрестоматии): 2011 | Дата последней редакции в Иркипедии: 30 марта 2015

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Тематический указатель: Irkipedia English