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SPRING

In the Baikal Region does not confine itself to the free months allotted to it by the "human" calendar. The taiga, benumbed by the frost still sleeps and the triumphant cries of flocks of birds, that have returned from warm lands, do not yet ring out. In the meantime the winds have already swept the snow away from the icy fields, polishing the transparent shield of Baikal until it shines, and in places, where the snow-drifts hid themselves from the wind, the frost and the sun have evaporated them for in winter the air here is extremely dry and seeks to quench its thirst.

Availing themselves of the opportunity, the bold rays of the sun, which is becoming stronger every day, dart through the gigantic crystal lens, warming the water under the ice, awakening in it the desire to break through the frozen shell. And so the water begins to undermine the ice. With each day it becomes more and more friable porous and by April it turns into billions of long, vertical glass needles. They stand and wait for the spring winds to come. When the warm winds come, they will fall upon the wait fields, break them into pieces and begin to drive them to the banks of the lake. Only a day ago the ice was fragile and helpless, but to day his ice unexpectedly turns into a blind force, which, with ruthless bravery, breaks the trees, which grew on the banks, ruins road-beds and moves great, heavy rocks from place to place.

Text by Mark Sergeev