Jack’s Walk

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It’s another beautiful day here and I’m enjoying the freedom of being outside without being all bundled up. For the past few days Jack and I have been walking in a new area because our usual forest path hasn’t been cleared yet of several large fallen trees. Jack thinks this new route is pretty swell. It runs close to the river and he’s been able to frolic in the water every day. I don’t think the route is swell and it’s not because of the wet dog. It’s because of all the dead trees. Several years ago my area was hard hit by the emerald ash borer beetle. (Agrilus planipennis) It destroyed every tree in the park that connects with this path and many more were cut down in neighbouring areas to help to help prevent the spread. What was once a lush green park with mature trees is now riddled with decaying stumps and fallen branches. Our winters have become so warm that these critters can now survive this far north. One more victim of climate change.

Russia – Famous Graves

The most prestigious cemetery in Russia lies on the other side of Lenin’s tomb, directly in the Kremlin wall necropolis. That is where the greatest of Russians lie.  There you will find Stalin, Brezhnev, Chernenko and astronaut Yuri Gargarin. Very few are up to this highest of honors, though, so where do the rich and famous of Russia go when they die? The answer is likely the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow.

The cemetery is large and active with many visitors, some to visit specific graves and others to view the entire site as an outdoor gallery filled with history and graced by the best of Russian art. Despite large numbers of people the cemetery maintains a quiet, reflective quality. Some graves have small chairs for guests. Many graves have small offerings of fruit or sweets. Many more have fresh flowers and there is, conveniently, a florist’s shop at the front gate. There are several graves that I photographed that I was unable to locate information about. They are so beautiful that I include them anyway. I really wish I’d had more time here. Lots more time. What a very special place. (I apologize about the quality. My real camera broke and I was using an old spare)

First, I’ll start with the well-known graves.

Boris Yeltsin


Nikita Krushchev


Raisa Gorbechov, wife of Mikhail Gorbachov


Anton Checkov


Yuri Nikulin, beloved actor and clown with his dog


General A Lebed

And now for the beautiful graves I could not identify. The last is my favourite. But first, the flower shop. (note: some names have been added to the original post. See below.)

Florist, Novodevichy Cemetery


Russian entertainer Boris Brunov


Cat lover Valentina Reinholdovna Gliere


Come and sit


Russian singer


Someone to keep watch, Yelizaveta Kairova




Young lovers


Living tree

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Edit note: Thanks to meaderborn and Ice Swimmer for helping me fill in a few names on my unidentified list. I have added their names in respect.




Jack’s Walk

We had a lot of freezing rain over the weekend and it caused some minor damage to the trees in my neighbourhood. A few small branches down here and there, but nothing serious. I wish I could say the same about our favorite trail in the woods. Today we found major storm damage there, including three large trees, each about 25 – 30 meters high, pulled up by the roots and laying across the path. There are also several smaller trees and lots of large branches down across the forest and over the path. We went around a lot of obstacles today and in places we had to scramble up and over. This will likely cause damage to the flowers as well because people are treading off the walking path and onto the beds where the trilliums and jack-in-the-pulpit grow. We also heard a few branches cracking overhead which gave the whole place quite an eerie feel. All in all not our usual walk today.

fallen trees

Fallen tree

Uprooted tree

Uprooted tree

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