Thursday, April 10, 2014

Lake Baikal

"The strange light of these northern zones was gently stealing over an immense sea of clear, perfectly calm, glassy water, which enabled us to locate the whiter coloured rocks at enormous depths. A fleecy line of cloud hung lazily over the snow-capped mountains. The Great Bear nearly stood on his head, and the Pole Star seemed to be almost over us. The other stars shone with icy cold brilliance and refused to vanish, though the sun had begun to rise. And such a rising! We could not see that welcome giver of warmth and life, but the beautiful orange and purple halo embraced half the world. From its centre shot upwards huge, long yellow streamers which penetrated the darkness surrounding the stars and passed beyond into never-ending space. Gradually these streamers took a more slanting angle until they touched the highest peaks and drove the cloud lower and lower down the side of the mountains. I have been on the Rigi under similar conditions, but there is nothing in the world like an autumn sunrise on Lake Baikal."

--Col. John Ward, "With the Die-Hards in Siberia," 1920.

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