The Grace Of The Spring Steppe, Or A Journey To Childhood

The Grace Of The Spring Steppe, Or A Journey To Childhood
The Grace Of The Spring Steppe, Or A Journey To Childhood

Video: The Grace Of The Spring Steppe, Or A Journey To Childhood

Отличия серверных жестких дисков от десктопных
Video: a child Journey 2023, February
Anonim

Poplar fluff, apple blossom, wormwood steppe,

From the acacia spirit, Tulips like dawn

The distance is ancient….

A.A. Ivaschenko.

The inhabitants of the middle zone, accustomed to forests and groves, do not always understand the beauty of the steppes. It happened to be heard that the even squares of the Stavropol and Krasnodar fields, lined with forest belts, are too boring for the eye. And the summer heat and hot steppe winds are a difficult test for the body.

Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)
Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)

Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)

We are increasingly recalling our steppe childhood. About how they went to the arable land to look for the first tulips, walked in the steppe, picking and chewing on the way "laputsiks" - the stalks of a shepherd's bag, how they tried to flood the bottomless holes of ground squirrels with water in order to lure these fat little animals and observe them at least for a short time. There were times when they could often be seen driving by in a car - they froze motionless by the road, like poles, and instantly dived into the burrow when we approached. It was considered special happiness to catch a cute nimble jerboa, which inevitably jumped out of the hands and quickly disappeared from sight.

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Nowadays, it is less and less common to meet gophers, jerboas, and tulips near settlements, but there are unique places in Kalmykia, on the border with the Stavropol Territory, where you can see an almost pristine steppe. I also want to tell about them.

Actually, this border runs along the Manych-Gudilo lake. In the narrowing of the lake in bad weather, the water breaks on the steep banks, emitting a roar, hence the second name was added. And there is a legend about the first.

There lived a proud Elbrus, and he had three daughters. One day his father told them to tell them how much they love him. The father was pleased with the older daughters, and the answer of the younger, named Manych, puzzled him. She said, "I love you like salt." “What kind of love is this?” Elbrus got angry and drove his daughter out of the house. She left, taking nothing with her but a bag of salt. Time passed, hungry times came when there was not even enough salt. And Manych began to distribute salt to people, selflessly saving them. Only then did the father understand the wise words of his daughter and decided to make her immortal, turning her into a salt lake, and he turned to stone with pride. Now he watches her from afar from the height of his mountain peak.

Scientists believe that this lake was once a strait between the Black and Caspian Seas, but over time it turned out to be isolated, so it is full of salty sea water. The places here are fishy, ​​a lot of seagulls are screaming in the air, wild ducks are not uncommon, waders run along the shore and herons appear imposingly, pelicans have appeared recently, and swans have stopped flying for the winter. In the spring, many migratory birds are added to them, stopping here to rest and feed. In a word, all life is drawn to water.

Tulip Bieberstein (Tulipa biebersteiniana)
Tulip Bieberstein (Tulipa biebersteiniana)

Tulip Bieberstein (Tulipa biebersteiniana)

Last spring hesitated for a long time before taking over, and the steppe obediently waited for warmth. It came at the very end of April, amicably reviving nature. The steppe flashed with colors of millions of flowers. Tulips, irises, and many other steppe plants bloomed at the same time. Local residents have not seen this for a long time. Even the earlier Bieberstein tulip (Tulipa biebersteiniana), popularly called the buzlyak, did not have time to bloom to give way to the more aristocratic Schrenck tulip, this year they met. At first, this modest tulip hangs down, resembling a bell, and later it raises its head to the sun and opens wide six narrow, pointed petals, turning into a star.

It seemed that the land was flooded with this delightful color to the very horizon. Occasionally I came across poultry farms and some other bulbous plant that I did not know, valerian began to spread its inflorescences, a tiny geranium bloomed. And between them everywhere - fluffy mounds of wormwood.

Tulips and irises
Tulips and irises

Tulips and irises

Poultry
Poultry

Poultry

Valerian
Valerian

Valerian

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Geranium
Geranium

Geranium

These places are one of the growing places of the Schrenk tulip (Tulipa schrenkii), the ancestor of the first cultivated varieties. It is short here, it grows on dense clay, and its bulb goes deep into the depths. But on loose arable land, it sometimes grows no lower than garden ones. It is the most volatile of all tulips. Most of all in the populations, of course, are red. But look at the photos - here is raspberry with a white border, reminiscent of the famous Lustigue Vitve, here is white with a pink border, like in the Garden Party, here are yellow, white, orange, pink, purple, variegated variations. You can also find a "black" tulip here. Well, almost black.

Schrenck's tulip (Tulipa schrenkii)
Schrenck's tulip (Tulipa schrenkii)

Schrenck's tulip (Tulipa schrenkii)

Schrenck's tulip (Tulipa schrenkii)
Schrenck's tulip (Tulipa schrenkii)

Schrenck's tulip (Tulipa schrenkii)

Schrenck's tulip (Tulipa schrenkii)
Schrenck's tulip (Tulipa schrenkii)

Schrenck's tulip (Tulipa schrenkii)

This species has a wide range in the territory of Russia and Central Asia; it was described by E.L. Regel in 1873 from the vicinity of the city of Ishim in the Tyumen region and named after A.I. Shrenk, an employee of the St. Petersburg Botanical Garden, who collected in numerous expeditions across Kazakhstan in 1840-1843. about 1000 plant species. Although some botanists are inclined to identify it as the Gesner tulip (Tulipa gesneriana) previously described by the great taxonomist Karl Liney. In any case, he is one of the recognized wonders of Russia.

Schrenck's tulip (Tulipa schrenkii)
Schrenck's tulip (Tulipa schrenkii)

Schrenck's tulip (Tulipa schrenkii)

Schrenck's tulip (Tulipa schrenkii)
Schrenck's tulip (Tulipa schrenkii)

Schrenck's tulip (Tulipa schrenkii)

Schrenck's tulip (Tulipa schrenkii)
Schrenck's tulip (Tulipa schrenkii)

Schrenck's tulip (Tulipa schrenkii)

No modern cultivar compares to this wild tulip scent. To feel its tart notes, you don't even need to bend over, the air is thickly saturated with them. Busy insects rush to visit flowers that will live only 3-4 days, the hot southern sun will not spare them. Now Schrenck's tulip is in the Red Book of Russia, and the collection of flowers is strictly prohibited. A GreenPeace car runs across the steppe, watching over those leaving to admire the spring flowering.

Schrenck's tulip (Tulipa schrenkii) and dwarf iris (Iris pumila)
Schrenck's tulip (Tulipa schrenkii) and dwarf iris (Iris pumila)

Schrenck's tulip (Tulipa schrenkii) and dwarf iris (Iris pumila)

The dwarf iris (Iris pumila) is the same plant in the Red Data Book - a small cockerel, from which a group of dwarf bearded (border) irises was obtained by breeders. As you can see, the selection material is enormous. Moving from curtain to curtain, it is difficult to find two identical - something, but different - strokes on the lower petals, beard coloring, color intensity. It is very different: yellow or, to varying degrees, greenish, bluish-white, all kinds of shades of blue and violet - from lilac to thick ink. There are bright, almost pink flowers.

Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)
Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)

Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)

Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)
Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)

Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)

Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)
Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)

Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)

I decided to find a pure yellow cock, without strokes and a contrasting beard. It turned out to be difficult, a small jacket was found only on the second day. Here it is, a sunny flower of even yellow color, with a slightly whitish beard.

Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)
Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)

Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)

Curtains and height are clearly distinguished. I know that here in some places another species can be found in the form of an admixture - the Astrakhan iris (Iris astrachanica), a guest from the more northern steppes. But I didn't. It is usually slightly taller than dwarf iris, and bears two flowers on the peduncle, differing in multicolor color.

Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)
Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)

Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)

Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)
Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)

Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)

Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)
Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)

Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)

Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)
Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)

Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)

Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)
Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)

Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)

Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)
Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)

Iris dwarf (Iris pumila)

While wandering along the variegated bank of the Manych, I saw many holes on a small slope. Before I had time to think that there might be snakes here, I almost stepped on a viper that had coiled its flexible body into loops, warmed up in the sun.

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The steppe was full of animals on this warm day. Who has not been seen during these 100 km! Having passed by Manych, where a large flock of pelicans fluttered near the bridge and slightly alarmed the waders and herons mincing along the coast, we went deep into the steppe along the coast. There were a couple of shy quails near the road, predators circled in the sky. The steppe lives! And here are the ships of the desert - camels, but these, of course, are no longer representatives of the wild, but the inhabitants of the nearby shepherd where sheep are raised. The most insolent turned out to be the yellow jellyfish, which crawled right to our picnic. Or maybe we seemed superfluous to him?

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A bit of national flavor was added by Kalmyk wagons, set up for foreign guests, who were shown local beauties. In one of them, as expected, a red corner with Buddhist relics was organized, and a tree was placed next to it, to the branches of which a piece should be tied and a wish made. We were offered to listen to Kalmyk songs - the ensemble, located in the neighboring wagon, was ready to give a concert for us. But it was already evening, and it was time for us to return home.

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This period of steppe splendor is quite short. June will come, and the high sun will immediately burn out the steppe. A semi-dry cover of cereals and gray wormwood will remain. Feather grass is becoming rare here - feather grass steppes are now also subject to protection. And later, by the end of summer, the wind will roll the tumbleweeds. And the most persistent of the world of plants will remain only salt marshes along the small estuaries, half dried up from the summer heat, white with salt. They are also unique to these places. In the summer, the steppe will freeze, to revive a little greenery only in the fall, when the heat subsides and the rain falls. Only next spring will the fragrant but elusive beauty of the blooming steppe return for a short time.

Do you know what else the steppe is good for? Only here, even in spring, you can lie down on the warm ground and breathe enough of its aromas, without being too afraid of catching a cold.

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While leaving, one of my classmates dug up a bush of fragrant wormwood and took it to Stavropol to plant it under the window of her city apartment. For many years my classmates have been inseparable. Thank you, my family, for this journey to the spring steppe grace and our distant childhood.

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Photo by the author

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