NEAR KHAMONTOVO, LENINGRAD REGION, RUSSIA–Yesterday’s light rains in the morning gave way wonderful sun, as I described earlier. Then a massive thunderstorm, almost as large as those in Ohio, crashed through and dropped probably an inch of rain in just a few minutes. The sunlight reappeared after it passed along with much higher temperatures. Now it is sultry and Russian men are appearing along the river in those skimpy little swimsuits, if any at all. Bees have become evident, along with black flies. This morning irises opened up their buds for the first time along the riverbank. Even the mud has hardened along the steep path to the outhouse, which I thought would never happen.
Because I don’t have a mirror (having an old Silva compass instead of a Brunton), I’ve been taking a photograph of my face every morning just to make sure I didn’t have something like, say, a giant zit between my eyes. Now a selection of these images from early in the fieldwork to late shows how the weather has changed. At first I didn’t want to leave the house before I had to, it was so cold (and I still had the down jacket on). Then I went outside in the down jacket, then in a lighter windbreaker, and finally with just a shirt.