Far North — the country of white silence 1
The Far North is diverse. Its landscape ranges from Artic glaciers and stony deserts to the drifting ice of the Arctic seas, bordered by tundra, sometimes sad, and waterlogged, sometimes dry covered with a motley carpet of blossoming grass in summer. The tundra is home to dense bushes and single trees, larches, groves of fir-trees, and gnarled birches.
The Far North is an endless string of lakes, with dense systems of brooks, channels and rivers.
Its seacoasts, steep, and smoothed out by the waves, lie quiet with castaway tree trunks resting on the beaches, tossed out by the unforgiving sea.
The Far North is a territory of surprising nature and stark contrasts. In winter it is home to the long polar night, and its mysterious play of northern lights in the sky, with frosts, and snowstorms howling.
In the summer it is the land of the midnight sun, 24 hours of sunshine, transparent air, unusual colours. We call the Far North severe and inhospitable, sad and charmingly beautiful. It is «the country of white silence». Is there something common in all this variety? Yes, there is.
The Sun here never rises high above the horizon and doesn’t emanate enough heat. Such phenomena as the polar day and night with eternal frost are pure characteristics of the Far North.
Because of the lack of heat living organisms go to great lengths to preserve heat. In a word, life and survival in these areas dwell on a fragile balance between instability, vulnerability and sustenance in an environment of extremes.
On the bright side, in summer the ground becomes covered with a lush multi-coloured carpet of blossoming grass, and flocks of geese, ducks and seagulls, herds of deers and walruses appear. This «living North» is the most interesting side of northern nature.