105 Photos - Jul 20, 2013
Photo: Milkis: that new feeling of soda beverage you crave!Photo: Actually this stuff is good. Tastes like the sherbert/ginger punch my grandma used to make in the summer.Photo: The official gum of our trip.Photo: Edelweiss by the roadsidePhoto: The town nearest to the Mongolian borderPhoto: Liz sets up lunch in the only shade we can findPhoto: Who'd've thought 20 swallows live in the garage next to Georgy's head?!Photo: The alien landing zone where we camped one night (we could not explain why the grass was cut in this small area...as if just for us)Photo: You've been in Siberia too long when this looks like as appealing as Thanksgiving dinner!Photo: Dinner is served!Photo: A cool moth at our campsitePhoto: All these dots are mating beetles next to our campsitePhoto: Closeup of Beetle Love 2013Video: A potential net hazardVideo: Capture of a challenging bird...the looped recording in the background is a playback baitPhoto: What did you do with your Sunday?Photo: A site owner releases a bird near the Russian-Mongolian borderVideo: An excited girl releases a bird at our site "Big Show" near the Russia-Mongolia borderPhoto: A gaggle of kids haunts our every move at "Big Show"Photo: No, no, don't touchPhoto: Liz's fan clubPhoto: Distracted? It's just hammering and welding!Photo: Environs of "Big Show"Photo: Grizzly man and a pretty landscapePhoto: WWII monument in Southern RussiaPhoto: The WWII monumentPhoto: Best coffee chain in Russia!Photo: Instant noodles!Photo: At this crosswalk, traffic stops in every direction for 15seconds. Ready, and, CROSS!Photo: View from the entrance to our hotel on our 1/2 day "vacation"Photo: Russia sure does love goldPhoto: Our hotel and cafe/ truck stopPhoto: Climbing dogs!Photo: Another rainy, barnswallowless villagePhoto: Nope, no barn swallows herePhoto: Um...should we worry about that truck?Photo: This wagtail subspecies (Motacilla alba ocularis) should not be here. This is 1,000km south of where it's range should be.Photo: And that's when we realized the left wiper was broken.Photo: Surrounded by the same run-down villages we've been seeing everywhere else...this...Photo: Can you spot the swallow? Can't even get your car checked without being hauntedPhoto: What's that rattle? Well, according these "experts", nothing to worry aboutPhoto: Clouds bursting from a village horizon at sundownPhoto: Not one of our morning scenic camp sites...right along a service roadPhoto: In Yulia's absence, our careful packing has kinda suffered...just cram everything in!Photo: Liz's apparel for being IN the car one morning in MID-JULY in Siberia...bundle upPhoto: One of those Siberian wolf dogs guarding a housePhoto: Fog over the bridge aheadVideo: Fledgling swallows between Chita and KhabarovskPhoto: Swift!Photo: Fledgling on a wirePhoto: Our fearless driver and collaborator!Photo: Sibling rivalryPhoto: I'm still hungry....Photo: I don't know you, but I don't like you!Photo: grumpy old dogPhoto: YumPhoto: Breakfast is ready!Photo: Stretching those new wingsPhoto: Who's hungry?Photo: Filling up water at a village spigotPhoto: Hmm...maybe there's another way...Photo: The search continuesPhoto: About half way there...time for a stretch!Photo: Posing with 2 veeery generous site owners who invited us in for Okroshka and the most delicious milk and fresh eggs I've ever had!Photo: In the sky--the face of Burhan? (The spirit of Siberia)Photo: An ominous cloud formation appears as we pitch our tentsPhoto: Another campsite, a ton of mosquitosPhoto: Georgy is harried by a guard dogPhoto: Taking birds out of the net at "Dexter's Laboratory"Photo: a loong stretch of crappy road on the way to KhabarovskPhoto: Odd bunkmatesPhoto: Another morning, another dog barking at GeorgyPhoto: "Blackwater", a garage where we caught a dozen barn swallows AND there were house martins and red-rumped swallows living together...3 species of swallows coexisting! (Also an overly enthusiastic private security force)Photo: Georgy poses with the red-rumped swallow we caught (Hirundo daurica)Photo: Red-rumped swallow (Hirundo daurica) I've also seen this all the way in Turkey and IsraelPhoto: Matt poses with the dauricaPhoto: Lunch: a delicious squid salad, egg-tossed shnitzel, and buckwheatPhoto: Rain alll the way to Khabarovsk from our last night's camp site...and there's no escaping Lastochka (swallow taxi ahead)Photo: Crossing the AmurPhoto: Someone doesn't seem to belong here...we left after taking this picture (having looked at the prices)Photo: 4 cartoon charactersPhoto: Pizza town: just the thing for road-weary travelersPhoto: Run, this guy's on fire!Photo: The road to nowhere. The embankment to the right is the end. And it must be what's called "Oolyakan"Photo: Tank!Photo: Cool landscape from my perspective in the back seatPhoto: Very far south in RussiaPhoto: Liz and Matt as far as they can go toward the Mongolian borderPhoto: why not?Photo: mademoiselle cranes (Anthropoides virgo) near the Mongolian borderPhoto: Breakfast of championsPhoto: The banding setup in "Dexter's Laboratory"Photo: Hiding from the rain with a red-rumped and a barn swallowPhoto: The Lonely Planet described our Khabarovsk hotel as "The Soviet Special"Photo: Our bathroom, fit with toilet, sink, and shower in a 4x4 ft space!Photo: This site was called the North Pole. It was coooold that morningPhoto: He looks friendly...until you try to come closerPhoto: Photo: Hmm...this one is going to be tricky...Photo: Our last group picture before we have to put Yulia on a train back to KrasnoyarskPhoto: Yulia, we'll miss you on the rest of our trip!Photo: Every time we leave a city (in this case, Chita) it has rained...by Russian lore, this is supposed to be good luck!Photo: NSFW: A typical Russian toiletPhoto: Site "KGB"...the owner was a former Soviet spy and told Georgy to watch out, cuz we'd be taking pictures and were DEFINITELY not looking for birdsPhoto: And this is how we weigh barn swallows