Most of the projects we admire, whether recent or from a distant past have come to us presented in the book format. Fauna & Flora plays a part in this important field by supporting new publications by both young and established photographers. We also plan to bring back to life some publications that have long since run out of print.
‘Russian Spring’ by Sarah L. Engelhard, 2013
Co-published by Fauna & Flora
Limited edition: 250
Written by Sarah L. Engelhard
During the exceptionally warm and dry summer of 2010, the most extreme heatwave recorded since 1880 in western Russia (NOAA), hundreds of forest fires burned around Moscow from the end of July to the beginning of September. Forest fires are a common and natural phenomenon in Russia but the circumstances in 2010, a combination of extremely high temperatures, little precipitation, dehydrated soils, change in forest management and human induced recreational fires made forests extremely vulnerable to the outbreak of wildfires. Ryazan Oblast, a region to the south east of Moscow, was one of the regions which suffered most from these uncontrollable fires. The villages nearest to the forest locations in the photographs, Peredel’tsy, Kriusha and Spas-Klepiki, were almost fully destroyed. The smoke produced heavy smog in the city of Moscow creating a serious health problem that disrupted public live. The forests photographed here, were organic in nature and estimated to be between 40 and 80 years old. These forests are a mixture of trees and shrubs dominated by pine, spruce and birch with aspen and grey alder, growing on peat soils and in swamp areas. The region of Ryazan is exploited for timber production and national and international tree planting campaigns aim at reforestation. Forest Ecologist Grigory Anissochkin estimates the recovery time of these woods to be 30 years, if they are left to grow naturally.