Topographic and statistical description of the border line of Petrozavodsk and Povenets uesds with Finland
II. Topography of the border and natural phenomeni.
The scenery of the border line is generally mountainous, covered with woods and studded with lakes and swamp, that give this land severe, gloomy nature
The mountains, generally known as Olonettskie, cross it from the North-West to the South-East. The Maanselä ridge, that comes to Olonets gubernia from Finland in different parts rises from 42 to 300 meters (from 138 to 984 feets) over the sea level1.
This mountain ridge, made mainly from the solid rock, in many places totally uncovered by the soil, in the Olonets gubernia divides catchment basins of the rivers running to the North to the White Sea and to the South and South-West to the Onego Lake. On the left side of the Finnish border the Maanselä ridge formes in Kuopio and Viborg gubernias the Finnish plain height, where iven the lakes lies at about 200-300 feets over the sea level.
Marshes and swamps. Between the Unus-järvi lake and the path from Kostomuksa to Salli-järvi, there is a swamp that is a continuation of Suojärvi parish marshes; and from the Siverka River up to Runna settlement there lays a part of the well-known Egyptin-korpi great marsh, that comes from Juleviegi village (Pielis-järvi uezd, Kuopio gubernia), and goes to the east over the border and far into Russian territory. In summer time Egyptin-korpi marsh is impassable, and thus the inhabitants of a small Finnish village Jongeeri, set near the lake with the same name in the Northern corner of Kuopio gubernia and bordered by this marsh from their parish church in Pielis-järvi can visit the church only in the winter. As says the author of the "Material on statistics of Finland"2 this lead to the strange tradition in this village - as if its inhabitants keep their dead on the trees during the summer until they have the possibility to bring them to the cemetery in the winter. According to my inquires this information seem to be rather dubious, as those who is quite familiar to the near-border Finland habits say that the Lutheran church rules allow to bury the dead outside the graveyard and even without burial service.
Lakes. Aside the above-said, there are the following remarkable lakes on the near-border territory:
To the right side of the border:
In Petrozavodsk uezd.
In Povenets uezd
To the left side:
In Ilomantsi uezd of Kuopio Gubernia.
In Pielis-järvi uezd.
In Kajaana uesz of Uleåborg gubernia.
The above-said lakes have rather specific forms, mainly oblong, going from North to South. Their shores are mainly rocks, in some places covered with hundred-years old firs and pines, in other - absolutely bare. The above-mentioned settlements situated near some of them, the rest of the lakes lay in the absolutely unihabitant places. The lakes are situated at different layers and the water runs from one to another by the rocky beds, forming more or less spectacular rapids and falls.
Such are all the rivers and brooks named in the topographic description of the border. They are very quick and in places are used for timber floating. They offer a big power force that can be used for development of factories and works in this region.
Rivers. Of the border rivers the most remakable are:
1. The Shuja river, that begins under the name of Karasalmi from Salonjärvi lake, near the Nilosaari (Damp isle) village, about 5 miles from Suojärvi mills. This two-mile river enters Suojärvi (Marsh-lake) and then, near the village Ekhele, runs from it under the name of Shuja river (Marsh0river). This river crosses the border near the settlements Pusunvaara, Korbozero and between Timola and Megilambi villages. Then Shuja runs through the lakes Sodder, Vagat and Logmozero, the latter connected with Onego Lake with the wide strait.
The whole length of the Shuja river is about 132 miles, but due to the presence of numerous rapids (nearly 25) it can be used only for timber rafting. The main rapids are Timoila and Ignoila. They are situated just on the borderline and really are so called "paduns" (falls) - very steep rapids, with the height of over 20 feet.
2. The Suna river, is about 240 miles long and from 120 to 250 feet wide. It runs from the lake of the same name in Povenets uezd, some 15 miles from Finnish border. It's rocky shores, mostly covered by soil, are green and beautiful, especially the right, more mountainous shore. Suna runs along the near-border settlements Tsernosersky-navolok, Valazminsky state cast-iron mills, Pälvozero, Ussuna, Verkhnyaya Gora, Ponizovsaya, Gongolambi. Then it leaves the 30-miles border zone. At about 4 miles before entering Ussunskoe Lake, there are picturesque waterfalls Girvas and Por-Porog on the Suna river. After leaving this lake it creates a well-known waterfall Kivatch, that was berhymed by Derzhavin. In 1858, when His Majesty Alexander Nickolaevitch visited Kivatch there was built a pavilion, which is still kept there. In spite of big fall the Suna is used for timber rafting. There is a wooden shoot built on Kivatch waterfall to let the timber over it. As all rivers of the Olonets region Suna is rich with water only during spring flood. There are bridges over the Suna in Valazma, Lindozero and at it's mouth.
State border reserves. Along the most part of the Finnish border, marked by the 60 feet wide cutting, on the right side of the border lays forest reserves of the ministry of the State Property. There are Sjamozero reserve in Petrozavodsk uezd, Lindozersky reserve laying in Petrozavodsk and Povenets uezd and Seletskaja, Rebolskaja and Kimas-ozerskaja in the latter. To the left of the border cutting there are forests, belonging to different Finnish landowners, seriously damaged by slash-and-burn agriculture, widely in use in that area for raising the grain.
Forests, laying on both sides of the border are mainly coniferous. They give the nature severe Nordic character. The strict view of the dark branchy firtrees and abies and fragrant shaggy pines contrast to the bright azure of the lakes and greens of the meadows. Deciduous trees are not so bright in the North as they use to be in milder climate zones. Only the birch accommodate itself tho this cold country and often forms thick woods.
In the coniferous forests juniper and heather create main undergrowth.
Bird cherry tree and mountain ash are met everywhere, but only as single trees.
Forests alternate with morasses and marshes that are grown with moss and sedge and only sometimes, mainly in Viborg gubernia and in the southern part of Kuopio gubernia one can meet meadows.
But the forests and marshes are rich with the berries. In spring their flowers add the Northen landscape bright colors. One can find a lot of wild strawberries, raspberries, red cloudberries, cloudberries, bilberries, cowberries and cranberries.
Wild animals. The wild bear is a real guard of the forests and poetical Finns gave him a lot of complimentary names. The wolfs hordes are roaming around, raiding the villages and towns suburbs, devouring cattle and even dogs that did nit run away in time. Badgers, foxes, martens, hares and lynxes are often crossing the border. Voracious glutton waits for reindeers - it's favorite food - on the branches of fir-trees. Elks that were met quite often around the whole of Finland had almost vanished now. There are still a lot of weasels, ermines, usual and flying squirrels. Otter mines burrows on the lakes shores. The sociable beavers, that feel birch-trees and eating their rind, were also common animals quite lately.
Wild birds. The near border forests are rich of wild game. The timid wood-grouse can be found in the thickests, marshes feed with berries a great many of black grouses and hazel-hens. Willow grouses are often met on the Northern mowings. Partridges, thrushes and snipes are met in big flock. Of flyind predators one can meet here different eagles, falcons, kites, coccyx, hawks and owls. In summer here is a lot of ravens, crows, sparrows, magpies, daws, woodpeckers, cuckoos, gulls, cranes, swallows that come as far as Enare lake, Lapland buntings, chaffinches, goldfinches, tits, bullfinches, wrens, crossbills and others.
Fishes. The lakes are rich with different fish: salmon, pike, carp, crucian, roach, perch, eel, zander and burbot. Trout and lamprey are common in the swift waters of rivers and brooks.
Amphibious are not many in the near-border region: toad, several kinds of frogs and lizards, grass-snakes, vipers, psyllas.
Insects. There are about 2 000 different kinds of them in Finland.