Lake Baikal in autumn
Calm days with no winds are here. The green world is anticipating something apprehensively. It seems the first frosts made a right decision and are gone, warm, nice days are back. The sun still shines serenely, but the green of the birch trees gets some autumn golden curls. It means that September is around.
In summer, the warm air coming down onto the lake from the mountains, creates the mists of cooling effect; in the fall, it's different, there occur the mists of evaporation, due to the fact that the water temperature is higher that that of the atmosphere. The mists stay longer over the lagoons, bays, and river mouths. The scarcity of precipitation at the western shore influences the flora of the area hence it is meager here. On the contrary, the eastern shore gets 500 mm pf precipitation annually, that's why the flora is much richer there.
When the first yellow leaf falls onto the thickened, enchanting potion of water, one can watch schools of omul in it. The spawning period starts, the golden fall starts, and the time of autumn storms is nearer. Well, they won't burst out right away: they will give the golden colors a chance to ripen, they will wait when the asp-trees add red colors, and the green needles of the larches become lighter. This storm of colors will make every tree, every bush, into that special glimmer, when the fur trees seem black, and the pines get that special severe beauty.
One of the peculiarities of the lake is the winds, blowing along the lake and across it. There are 30 of them, and each has a nickname. The prevailing winds are the northwestern wind (Gornaya), the northeastern one (Angara or Verkhovik), the southwestern one (Kuhltuk), southeastern one (Shelonnik), and the Barguzin. A very special wind here is called Khius, it is blowing from the North, and is limited in power, but it makes the air temperature very cold, even if the frosts are still moderate. The maximum wind velocity registered is 40 meters per second; the maximum height of the wave on the lake is 4 meters. The severest wind is the northwestern one, and the majority of calamities on the lake are connected with it. The winds are mostly peculiar for the autumn-winter period, until the lake is totally covered with ice. Summer storms can occur in late August and early September. The over-falls of atmospheric pressure over the lake are similar to the ones, occurring over the ocean when the hurricanes are born.
Still, Baikal will keep warm for a long time, and slowly give its warmth, accumulated in summer, to the air. In summer it is cooler near the lake, than in the neighboring regions, but in the fall the air temperature is 5-6, or even 10, degrees higher. When the ground is covered with the white of the snow, Baikal still maintains its warmth.
In October the thousand-handed wind starts attacking the trees, it's its time to gather crops. The sparkling streams of leaves are flying, the needles of the larches fall with a rustling sound. The creeks and rivers of the area are hurrying to bring the woods luxury to the lake, but the leaves try to get ashore, stick to the stones and branches, they are reluctant to leave their native forest.
It is lighter and more spacious in the woods around the lake, and there's a chance to get convinced that they are full of birds. The squirrels make final arrangements to store food for the long winter; they will soon change their fur apparel for the winter one. The chipmunk filled his holes with the cedar kernels; the bears prepare their dens, as they will see their first animal dreams in the first days of November.