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Flowers of Braslav lakes and the flower-lovers

Author: S. Plytkevich
Photo: by author

14.06.2021

Having a goal to present on the "Planet Belarus" all the sights of my native country, all the lakes and settlements, during each trip I try to “catch” a good lighting. Moreover, very often my trips are specially planned for the desired weather forecast. I want to show the wild nature of Belarus at its best, thus I have to shoot it either early in the morning, or late in the evening.

On June 10, there was a graduation ceremony at the gymnasium of the town of Braslav, and I was asked to photograph it. The festive event perfectly fit my plans, since we had to publish a photo album "Land of Braslav" by July 3, and I needed such illustrations for it. 

I almost never have direct roads from point "A "to point" B", but always take pictures of something aside of the way. Of course, I couldn't drive by the town of Dokshitsy with its “perfect” clouds.

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Trinity Church and Franciscan Monastery.

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Holy Intercession Church.

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The panorama of the central square will also come in handy someday.

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The village of Gloobokoye. Memorial column in honor of the Constitution of May 3, 1771.

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Unfortunately, at the time of shooting, the city was covered by two huge clouds, and we had to leave other places of interest for the next time.

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Assumption Church on the outskirts of the town of Sharkovshchina.

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Nearby, a man was cultivating his infield. A picture of that kind can also be useful to us…

I arrived in Braslav, there were still a couple of hours left before the prom, so I had a chance to take pictures of the town.

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The administrative center of Braslav.

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And the ancient settlement between the lakes Novyata and Drivyaty.

Graduates of the 2021 Braslav Gymnasium are also worth mentioning them: out of twenty-seven young people, eight were A+ students!

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Alina Selyakh receives a diploma of secondary education and an award of honor.

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An energetic dance.

And a heartfelt response from the moms.

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A keepsake photo. What if somebody of these young people will be deciding the fate of Belarus in the future. And the old photo will become historical…

In the meantime, I still have an hour before sunset. And it should be used…

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In the Braslav district, there are several classic routes to places where moose are concentrated. But this time the attention was drawn to the roe deer. Well, to three males who were feeding on the shore of a small lake. I parked the car and started to observe.

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For the first time in a long "photo-hunting" practice, it was possible to record a small fight of males.

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Unfortunately, the moment of the attack was not quite sharp – it was already a little dark, but the fact itself is interesting.

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Of course, early in the morning I had no doubt where to go.

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The sun was rising above the horizon, but there was nothing to see in the lowlands because of the fog, so I was taken panoramic pictures.

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And I experienced another stress: the drone flew nine hundred meters away and became uncontrollable. But I had bought it just recently to replace the broken “Fantom”!..

It's still an interesting feeling when your tool is not completely under your controle, when you see how the battery charge decreases on the monitor, and you realize that another loss is about to come…

But I managed to return the fugitive “flying robot” to his homeland, put him in the car and take care of the roe deer.

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The fog in the lowlands had cleared slightly by that time, and could have already been photographed…

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Here is an example of how the reluctance to wet their feet in dew makes male roe deer fly. Can you believe that?

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Here are three of “my goats” returning to the ravine.

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However, the Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) is strictly against and starts to protect its chicks.

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The N. lapwing is even ready to attack the Great Egret (Ardea alba).

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The last one also may be dangerous to the chicks.

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And the roe deer continue to feed. Of course, I would like them to fight once more against such a beautiful background!

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But – alas! - this morning they are peaceful.

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On the way to the village of Selyakhi, I shoot an agricultural landscape with cranes. The birds are 250 meters (820 feet) away, but the long-focus lens allows making an interesting shot.

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I notice another flock of cranes near the Braslav-Opsa road.

Since I have a couple of hours till shooting children on sailboats and presenting the layout of the future photo album, I can afford relaxing a little…

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These images will go to the photo album to illustrate the sports and tourism in the Braslav district.

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I photograph Romuald Shukel, the chairman of the "Mayak Braslavshchyny" (“Lighthouse of Braslav Land”) company, who’s a honorary citizen of the Braslav district. But he’s also interesting to me as a person who has created excellent conditions for photo hunting for moose and roe deer. The fields in his farm, despite the terrible mosaic, are perfect. And since food is available, animals also concentrate there. It is the combination of small swamps, small patches of forest, lowlands and hills that creates the conditions for getting good shots.

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I can shoot the sights of Braslav till the evening. This is a development of the town in the Polish period, designed by architect Juliusz Klos.

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It was also him who designed the pavilion over the well.

The album requires several industrial images: a bakery plant in Braslav and a peat briquetting plant in Akhremovtsy. During this “flight” I discovered a colony of grey herons (Ardea cinerea). I'll shoot it  tomorrow. But tonight I decide to change the tactics of photography. I go to “my” ravine early, choose a good shooting point and start waiting.

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The roe deer stag comes first. It feeds on the background of a floral carpet.

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Sandpipers are demonstrating some tensions. 

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Whinchats (Saxicola ruberta) is also circling around.

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This is the second male roe deer: he sniffed my spray from mosquitoes and abruptly ran away. In my opinion, it turned out to be a good shot.

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A little later, I notice a wild boar on the far side of the ravine. 

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This evening I was lucky: a herd of wild pigs headed in the direction of the abandoned hamlet.

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It was interesting to see how the roe deer reacted to them.

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One of the stags ran away immediately, while the other stood staring warily in the direction of the moving herd.

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The pigs disappeared into the tall grass, but at some point the female peeked out of the flower carpet. The resulting frame looks symbolic for the material about the Braslav flowers…

The sun was getting lower, and the roe deer lay down to rest.

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I approached the nearest one up to about 20 m (22 yd). He jumped up staring at me in amazement for a second, then suddenly ran away. I failed to make a good shot of a “lying deer”.

But I still had the tomorrow morning to try more!

Translated by M. Shaturin


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