Kumsa River, Republic of Karelia, Russia by Elena Lebedeva

Picture Story

That morning the thermometer showed me -25C. I watched the cold dawn colors poorly touch the dim sky and dozy winterland.

I stepped off the road. There was the white forest and white frosty silence around me. No bird flies, no twig moves. All sounds seem to have frozen in that scalding air.

I crumple soft high snowdrifts and go down to the river. The river's cooled down and seems to have been glazed over in some areas. But it still lively brings its endless stream though the frost has worked hard in this land.

The banks are enchained in a strong ice crust. The stones are covered with snow caps or ice glaze near the rapids where the water spray flew up fervently.

The tiniest ice crystals on the ice formations conjoined into the silver flowers. They hugged the thin twigs bent over the water, and held them together in an endless pattern. Light snowflakes enlaced the infinite forest with a thin frosty web, they turned it into a frozen white fairy tale.

Sitting on a fallen and icy old tree trunk, wading along the overgrown banks of the river, I only heard my own movements and the cracking of the ice structure links under my feet. In an hour and a half approximately I found my camera and my face to have been covered with frost, my hands and feet to have been frozen almost without moving, and myself to become a part of this frozen kingdom. It was time to get warm and to go on looking for some new beautiful winter landscapes.

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