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Deserts Semirechye.

Photo tours in the desert of Kazakhstan.

“Beauty is a manifestation of secret natural laws, which otherwise would have been hidden from us forever”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Botanical tours in Altyn-Emel park.

Deserts Semirechye are not only plains. To the South from Saryesik-Atyrau the western spurs of the Dzungarskiy Ala-Tau - the ridge Malaysary, the mountains Chulak and Matay, try to keep step with them Big and Small Kalkana, Katutau and Aktau.
On the South further away, behind the river Ili, desert mountains Big and Small Boguty and Syugaty, being the easternmost tip of the ridge Zailiysky Ala-Tau are visible, to put in a desert zone. Between the ridges Boguty and Toraygyr the extensive Syugaty valley, for Toraygyr - the Dzhalanash valley lies.
The desert climate is on the external ridge of plateaus. Here the woods do not grow, there is not enough moisture and soils are poorly developed, only on gorges and northern slopes bushes - greeping shrub (Atraphaxis), gean (Prunus avium), spirea (Spiraea) and a briar (Rosa canin) meet.
The stony cover of mountains got dark brown coloring, reminding the peculiar suntan received under the scorching beams of the sun for the long millennia. The ridge Malaysary has a lifeless and sad face. These small mountains no more than 1500 meters high are deprived of wood vegetation and water sources, it is possible to meet a wormwood and saltwort (Salsola spp) here.
Malaysary pass in the southeast into the mountains Chulaktau and Matay which reach in height no more than 3000 meters and have a strong, places impassable rocks. In some gorges the streams giving vegetation life murmur, as a part of flora a large number of endemic types and also relicts - plants which remained since prehistoric times up to now meets.
Southern Pribalkhashye - the big desert which is subdivided into smaller. So, for example, on a left bank or sands Taukum, further on the East - Saryesik-Atyrau, sands Irizhar, Lyukkum, Zhalkum, Kushinzhal, Aralkum, Kara-Kum were stretched, sands Sarykum adjoin to the Lake Sasykkol.
In ancient times the name of the area was given most often on distinctive landscape signs that allowed people to be guided better. So, Taukum in translation from Kazakh means mountain sands, Kara-Kum - black, Sarykum - yellow and so on.
But the desert is not only sands. To Dzhetysu it is possible to meet several views of deserts: stony plaster, clay, saline march others. Sandy is most interesting. The person who is sharply feeling and loving the nature, the desert cannot leave indifferent.
At any time at all times years its unique originality is felt. The desert attracts and attracts to itself those who love its beauty, is capable to make out diverse life. In its territory (between small mountains Small and Big Kalkan) on the right coast of Ili unique creation of the nature - the Singing barkhan, or the Singing mountain towers.
This natural education has the form of a typical sandy barkhan, but its size blows the mind: 80 meters high and about 3 kilometers long! The bulk from light small sand alone settled down in the middle of the desert plain which overgrew rare bushes of saltwort (Salsola spp) and a Saxaul (Halohylon Bge).
Sometimes in the summer at wind the mountain comes to life and begins to publish the powerful continuous buzz reminding a plane rumble. The reason of similar "singing" - still remains a riddle. Most likely, the sound is born in a barkhan from movement of mass of sand.
It is interesting that the barkhan does not wander on the plain, despite flowability of sand and strong winds, and remains on the place during the millennia. The immovability of a barkhan can be explained, most likely the fact that in this place between mountains, the directions of winds create peculiar turbulences and they keep the sandy mountain from movement.
Other miracle of the nature of Semirechye - the Charyn canyon. It picturesquely coast amazingly unexpectedly open to the traveler going on the monotonous desert. Since prehistoric times of water of Charyn - the largest inflow of Ili - laid themselves the course among rocks, grinding off a stone and forming deep pass in rocks.
Snow, rains and winds decorated coast of a canyon with fantastic natural sculptures over time. Being above a half-kilometer abyss, you lose hold on reality: it seems that it appeared in the novel world - so unusual landscape opens to a look.
At the bottom of a red rocky canyon in a green bordering of willows, poplars and ash-trees the blue green river curls. It is difficult to assume that there, below, life boils. From an abyss, from under the earth, on the motionless, spread wings in the ascending streams of air the huge golden eagle, behind it the second appears.
Unusually these celestial birds to see lower than the level of eyes. Gradually golden eagles circles gain height and disappear in the becoming blue height. Below, in coastal thickets, under noise of water nightingales and porridge sing, turtle-doves - quite terrestrial idyll coo.
On Charyn, on average his current, there is a fine oasis. Since the grove of an ash-tree Sogdiana or Charyn remained in the natural boundary Sarytogay. It is the massif up to 2 wide, largest in Kazakhstan, and more than 25 kilometers long.
The ashen grove occupies the space about 5 thousand hectares. The ash-tree of Charyn has 30 - 35 meters in height, its trunk in the diameter happens more than 2 meters, and krone to 10 - 13 meters. An ash-tree - the long-liver.
Separate copies live up to 300 years. From several types of an ash-tree growing in the CIS Charyn differs not only the large sizes, and beautiful figured bark, an of krone and the difficult small cut leaves. It is steady against frosts easily transfers dryness of air.
Without water the ash-tree of Charyn cannot live therefore in botanical literature it call sometimes hygrophilous. The ash-tree finds in Charyn floodplain for life all necessary.

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"Zhetysu is the Land of  tourism”. A Tourist Guide-book. Almaty.  2003. 68 p. and the material for this page is taken from the printed edition."

Alexander Petrov.