Wednesday, September 02, 2009

My Mammoth

This morning at 4:30 am, Toño woke me to inquire whether we overslept. Not yet. Unfortunately, I did not mange to get back to sleep and my mind started to wander around. To Siberia to be precise. To Lake Serechen in the Kolyma region to be even more precise. I have been in this area 5 times. My memories led me to the trip in the year 2000, when I celebrated my birthday there and received this piece of mammoth tusk with with a personal dedication:

In the morning on my birthday (August 21), we were greeted with snow on the tents. That is why I'm wearing a cap on this picture.

Nevertheless, I took a bath in the lake later that day. It is one of my habits to put a newspaper cover on books I take with me on travels. The picture has been taken here by Gertrud:

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On the following pictures, also taken by Gertrud, you can see why this area is worth many trips.

There is permafrost in the Kolyma area. This preserves mammoths, which have lived (and of course also died) there up to to 4500 years ago. During thawing period in spring, the rivers wash away some layers soil and occasionally people find the remains of a thawing mammoth. That is also how the tusk for my birthday sculpture was found.

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