- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
210

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
the rapids, some way higher up. A passage had been
cleared through the forest for this slender wire ; but, here
again, the birches had been felled at the same height.
The stumps shone in the moonlight away to the north
ward.
The engineer worked untiringly all night at the
motor, which had begun to go wrong. As we walked
about on land we could hear the beats of his hammer
on steel, ringing out in the stillness of the night. Over
on the other side of the river an owl was screeching ;
and sometimes there was another sound, which must
have been a loon.
Monday, September 15. Low wooded ridges were
now beginning to appear on both sides of the river.
From the landslips on the slopes it looks as if these ridges
were made up of loose material, sand and clay, like the
river-bank. But on digging into them, one would
probably come upon firmer rock, and these deep, loose
layers outside are no doubt formed by the severe
weathering that covers everything here. It looks to
me as if the flat tops of all these ridges are of pretty
nearly the same height, and they may be the remains of
a plain, which has been intersected and excavated by
rivers and streams. But it is impossible to form any
definite opinion about all this without håving had time
to land and examine it more closely.
The forest is becoming more luxuriant, and the
coniferous trees are gradually getting higher. The fir
has now appeared, and its red stems show up here and
there among the cedars, spruce, and larches. It is re
markable what a number of different kinds of trees
there are in the forest here ; although one would call it
a pine-forest, it has quite a yellow look from withered
birch and aspen, with red mountain ash among them.
Spruce seems to be most prevalent, together with birch.
210

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