June 1, 2012

0233 RUSSIA (Krasnodar Krai) – A lighthouse on the shore of the Black Sea

In this postcard is a lighthouse and a little church on the rock in Bolshoy Utrish (Big Utrish), south Russia, on the shore of the Black Sea. Between the seaside village of Bolshoy Utrish and Sukko, a rural locality serving as a resort, sprawls the Bolshoy Utrish protected area (zakaznik), which stretches for 12km along the coastline and is closed on the north ridge Navagir. Sukko lies in the north of the Abrau Peninsula, in the valley of the small Sukko River, wedged between the westernmost spurs of the Caucasus Mountains, otherwise known as the Markotkh.

At Utrish is the only well preserved in the Northern Black Sea area of typical Eastern Mediterranean landscapes. More then 60% of plant species belongs to the Mediterranean flora, and the oak-hornbeam forests of these species make up 40%. About 60 species are listed as endangered, many of them endemic, and in the forests can found trees aged about 1000 years.

In terms of fauna, it's worth mentioning striped mantis, saga pedo, rare species of Mediterranean butterflies, spur-thighed tortoise, aesculapian snake, nesting serpent eagle, short-toed snake eagle, white-tailed eagle, black vulture, egyptian vulture, peregrine falcon, and during spring and autumn migration along the coastline a great variety of birds species, as mute swan, loons, podiceps, and many others. These places are part also of the migration path and feeding of the mackerels hamsa, and bottlenose dolphin.

About the lighthouse, I can say that is located on a island and appears to be abandoned and deteriorating. The date when it was put into use is unknown, but probably is 1920, because the station was established in 1911. It's a round cylindrical masonry tower with gallery and a band of sculptured faces around it at about a quarter of the height, and a small red lantern in top. The picture was taken before 2008, because in this year it was placed a new lighthouse, on the metallic structure, which don't appears here.

The stamp, issued on May 26, 2011, depict the coat of arms of Irkutsk, which dates from 1690 and represented a babr (the Siberian word for tiger) carrying a sable in his teeth.

sender: Andrei / Abramovsky (postcrossing)
sent from Arkhangelsk (Arkhangelsk Oblast / Russia), on 06.03.2012

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