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Kamchatka > Nature of Kamchatka
Nature of Kamchatka
About one third of Kamchatka's territory is taken up by woodlands composed predominantly of the Erman's birch, also known as the stone birch, a large and gnarly tree that is one of the symbols of the region. Cedar tree that produces small but very tasty nuts grows on mountain slopes. The tall grasses of Kamchatka are very impressive, especially the giant meadowsweet that can reach up to 3 meters (9 feet) in height and can conceal not only a person on foot, but also a traveler on horseback. It is fortunate and very comforting, indeed, that there are absolutely no poisonous creatures such as spiders, snakes, or ticks with Lime decease on Kamchatka. The only affliction here are the mosquitoes.
During the rather short Kamchatka summer, the mountain slopes and meadows are incredibly beautiful. Waves of pink, purple, white, and yellow blooming wild flowers wash over the highland fields in just a few weeks when nature awakes to its full glory. It is a mesmerizing experience to come across the native wild orchid, known as the Shoe of Venus.
The peninsula is rich with a variety of berries: blueberry, bearberry, and edible honeysuckle. These natural treats, along with others like bear’s garlic and fern sprouts, are always offered to visitors and some are exported on a commercial basis.
Kamchatka's fauna, although not very variegated because of its peninsular isolation, is very exotic and fun to watch. The local wildlife includes seals, walruses, and some endangered species of sea otters. Many marine mammals, such as sperm-whales, orcas, beluga whales, and dolphins, find refuge in the bays and inlets of Kamchatka. The seaside cliffs and rocky islands often house lively bird colonies, where millions of cormorants, seagulls, cute little red-beaked puffins and dozens of other bird species nest. Kamchatka's largest bird is the sea eagle.
The northern part of the region is the grazing ground for many herds of wild reindeer. The peninsula is also home to many foxes, wolves, bobcats, bighorn sheep, and moose. The hores, minks, and prairie dogs are even more numerous. And then, of course, there is the famous brown bear. Needless to say, the place is a true heaven for any hunter. Yet, Kamchatka's main natural treasure is its salmon.