Wander Lord

Interesting on art, nature, people, history

Category Archive: Art

Veliky Novgorod – Free City

Veliky Novgorod - Free City

Veliky Novgorod – Free City

Veliky Novgorod is one of the oldest Russian cities. It was founded (or rather, was first mentioned in chronicles) in 859. The city is located at the Volkhov River and Lake Ilmen. In the middle of the IX century and in the late XV it played the major role in Russian history, in the formation of the Orthodox culture, and the first experiments in democratic reform.
Rurik, who started the first ruling dynasty of Russia, became the head of Novgorod. Veliky Novgorod was the first capital of the Russian state. However, it was the capital for a short period, the administration quickly moved to Kiev. But for centuries Novgorod was the trade center, located on the famous route “from the Varangians to the Greeks”. It was even invited to the Hanseatic League – a powerful and influential European Trade Organization.
Veliky Novgorod could be considered the first democratic state in Europe.
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Maple – Spectacular Leaves and Tasty Syrup

Maple – Spectacular Leaves and Tasty Syrup

Maple – Spectacular Leaves and Tasty Syrup

Maples are trees and shrubs that are often planted in parks and along city streets. Their leaves form a thick dome and in autumn they turn spectacular shades of yellow, orange, and scarlet.
There are about 200 different species of maple. They grow throughout much of North America, Europe, and northeastern Asia. They can grow to be more than 40 meters tall. The leaves usually have several fingerlike sections called lobes. Flowers appear in early spring. The fruit of maple trees is a hard pebble-sized structure with a pair of thin wings.
Sugar maples have sweet sap that is used to make maple syrup. These trees grow in Canada and the United States. People collect the sap in late winter or early spring. Sugar maples do not produce sap until they are about 40 years old! Sugar maple is the national tree of Canada, and a stylized leaf of this species is featured prominently on the Canadian flag.
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Venice – pearl of the Adriatic

Venice - pearl of the Adriatic

Venice – pearl of the Adriatic

If not the Huns and Germanic tribes’ invasion of northern Italy in the V-VI centuries there wouldn’t be great Venice. The barbarians forced local residents to flee the islands of the Adriatic Sea lagoon and start a new life there. The patriarch took the church treasures and moved to the island. March 25, 421 is considered as the date of foundation of Venice. It had passed different stages in its development – was the Venetian Republic, the Republic of St. Mark. Today it is a unique architectural masterpiece, the world’s only city-museum on the water.
It was not easy to live on the islands. The sea gave the fish, that could be sold, but it was necessary to develop commercial sea lanes. People had to build houses, bridges, boats, ships. Soon, hardworking Venetians gained a reputation as active and rich people.
In X-XII centuries Venice became a merchant republic. In the XV century its wealth increased, the number of residents reached nearly 200 thousand people.
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Donkey – Beast of Burden

Donkey - Beast of Burden

Donkey – Beast of Burden

Donkeys were among the first animals to be tamed by humans. The first donkeys probably came from Asia. People ride donkeys and use them to carry heavy loads, or burdens. The donkey is a member of the horse family.
Donkeys have long ears. They are usually white, gray, or black or shades in between. They usually have a dark stripe from the mane to the tail and a crosswise stripe on the shoulders. The mane is short and upright, and the tail has long hair only at the end.
Donkey is a domesticated or tamed animal, and ass is a wild animal.
Donkeys can survive on almost any kind of plant matter, but usually they eat hay or grass.
Sometimes people crossbreed a donkey and a horse. When the father is a donkey and the mother is a horse, the baby is called a mule.
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Birch – symbol of Russia

Birch – symbol of Russia

Birch – symbol of Russia

Birches have long been known for their beautiful bark. People use birch wood to make furniture, flooring, and plywood.
Birch trees are found in the northern half of the world. They grow in areas with cool to cold weather.
There are about 170 species of birch worldwide. They have narrow trunks and their bark is often white with black lines. Its leaves are usually bright green and they turn golden yellow in the fall. Birch flowers are called catkins. Each catkin bears flowers of only one sex but male and female catkins occur on the same plant. The fruit is a one-seeded nut which is often winged.
In Russia, birch switches are traditionally used to beat one’s skin during sauna baths.
The sap of birches is sweet and can be collected and condensed into syrup.
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Goldfish – beautiful underwater creature

Goldfish – beautiful underwater creature

Goldfish – beautiful underwater creature

The goldfish is a popular fish to keep as a pet in aquariums and ponds. It also lives in the wild, in rivers and lakes. The goldfish is a member of the carp family. Carassius auratus is its scientific name.
There are more than 125 breeds of goldfish found throughout the world. They can be of different colors: gold, red, orange, white, black, but naturally they are greenish brown or gray. That is because 1,000 years ago people in China began breeding goldfish to create more colorful varieties.
Wild goldfish eat mostly plants and small animals.
A female goldfish can produce thousands of eggs during each breeding season.
Some fish live as long as 25 years.
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Rain – amazing natural phenomenon

Rain - amazing natural phenomenon

Rain – amazing natural phenomenon

Rain is the liquid form of water that falls from the sky in drops. Rain fills lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. It provides the freshwater needed by humans, animals, and plants. Rain is a part of Earth’s endless water cycle.
It may sound a paradox, but it is actually rain that keeps the earth dry. If the moisture was not taken out of the air and formed into clouds, it would condense on every solid surface. We would feel as if we were in a steam bath.
Rain falls almost everywhere on Earth. One of the world’s rainiest places is Mount Waialeale in Hawaii. It rains about 350 days a year there. One of the driest places on Earth is the Atacama Desert in Chile.
The Sahara desert in Africa is very dry. Rain never falls on some parts of it. It is true that clouds pass over those areas and actually drop rain but the rain never touches the ground. The heat of the desert air evaporates the moisture as it falls.
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