The first three images are of Kamchatka volcanoes and an eruption (there are over 200 volcanoes with some 39 still active). The fourth picture shows the the Valley of the Geysers in the Kronotsky Nature Preserve. The fifth picture shows the wild flowers in bloom when our helicopter first landed in a field next to the Zhupanova. The sixth image is the Zhupanova River at dawn. The seventh picture is a kitten of the ever illusive Lynx. The eighth picture shows a pair of swimming bears. The ninth is a winter view of the upper Zhupanova. The tenth image shows Kamchatka in the fall. There is a wonderful photo of a Steller's Sea Eagle, the world's largest eagle, returning to the nest near the Zhupanova River. The next two images show yet another Steller's Sea Eagle and a Russian Sable in a tree. The fourteenth photo shows the brilliant colors of a typical coastal variety Rainbow Trout just about to be released. These noble predators move from river to river along Kamchatka's coast opportunistically chasing spawning Char and Salmon. The fifteenth image shows a big male Dolly Varden caught while spawning in the Zhupanova River. Dolly Varden Char, that had been previously tagged while spawning in British Columbia, were caught while spawning in Siberia's Anadyr River ...pretty neat way to protect a species from catastrophic loss while simultaneously enriching the gene pool! The sixteenth picture shows another good-looking fisherman, representing some of the largest Brown Bears on earth. And finally, our group also had the pleasure of being the first ever to catch on a fly rod, photograph and then release some of the beautiful Kundzha or Siberian White-spotted Char (Salvelinus leucomaenis).
Great Eagles, Bears on Rivers spanned,
Where Rainbows spawn, to Seas remand,
With Kundzha, Dollies, on demand;
Green primal Woods; Volcanoes stand,
A Scene most fair; by Nature’s Hand,
Would let God's Wildlife, take command;
This peaceful Dawn of Glasnost, grand,
While ne’er too soon nor Five-Year planned,
Should help, the World, to understand;
In Russia’s East, Kamchatka Land.
Siberia’s mixed Metaphor,
Hot thermal Spring; a thawed Cold War,
Old Soviet Union’s through; no more;
Though flawed, this Coup, could bring Rapport,
At least, we've had, our opened Door!
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© Howard B. Eskin 1996