Fogbow, Lake Ladoga, NW Russia pictured by Modest Ossipoff. ©Modest Ossipoff, shown with permission.

"We took a motorship voyage from St. Petersburg to Lake Ladoga and Valaam Islands in the late June of 2002. The motorship waits for tourists in a small isolated bay named Nikonovskaya. In the evening on the return voyage to St. Petersburg very dense fog literally formed a big wall between the bay and the lake. We entered the fog and it was very interesting and strange to be inside. There was nothing around us save fog and water. But the real treasure of that voyage was the fogbow!"

Fog droplets have diffracted direct sunlight to produce the fogbow, the small droplet analogue of large raindrop created rainbows. Fogbows have widely spaced supernumeraries that are more intensely coloured than the main primary bow, their colours are also reversed.

Lake Ladoga was a vital route to supply besieged Leningrad (St. Petersburg) in WW2. Winter lorry convoys drove over the frozen lake with food and relief supplies.

In earlier times the region was on the route of Norse incursions. In 862 the people of Novgorod appealed - it is said - to Prince Rurik of the Varangians (as the Norse were known) to rule them. Rurik became the founder of the first Russian ruling dynasty. Within 20 years the Rurikids governed a region reaching from Novgorod to Kiev 800 miles to the south - the 'Rus'.


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