Kaluzhsky Zaseki, Russia

A crisp, clear fall day, with frost in the morning, when a birch, like a tree from a fairy tale, all gold, is beautifully drawn upon a pale blue sky, when the low sun no longer warms, but shines more brightly than in summer, a small grove of aspens sparkles throughout, as though pleased and comfortable to stand naked; hoarfrost still shines white upon the valley floor, and a fresh wind lightly chases and stirs through the fallen and crumpled leaves…" Ivan Turgenev, the famed author of A Hunter’s Sketches, was well acquainted with the forests of the Kaluga region where he lived. Centuries ago, they were part of a wide swath of deciduous forests south of Moscow so dense and impenetrable that they formed a natural protective barrier against invasions from the southern grasslands. Exactly for this reason these virgin forests were protected from logging for several centuries, preserving not only the trees but also the wealth of other plants and animals – moose, deer, wolves, wild boar, beaver, and others – that took shelter in the forest. Today only one of these tracts of old-growth broadleaf forests is protected in an official nature reserve, the Kaluzhsky Zaseki Zapovednik.

Russian Nature Reserves

Shulgan-Tash Reserve ||Kaluzhsky Zaseki ||Sochinsky National Park ||Prielbrusye National Park
Nalychevo Nature Park || Muraviovka Park ||Losiny Ostrov National Park || Great Arctic Reserve
Vodlozero National Park ||Orenburgsky Reserve

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