Plaster roses of the Podpusk

Today we will go to admire plaster roses near the former village of Podpusk in the Akula district of Pavlodar region. There we will also enjoy the silence, freshness of the Irtysh and its uninhabited banks, the taste of dinner cooked on a fire, and much more.

You have before you – flowers made of plaster, which were created by nature. No jeweler worked on them; because of unusual shape, these samples were called plaster roses.

A veteran of Geology, a remarkable researcher Dina Ivanovna Lepikhina from the Pavlodar House of geography says that gypsum as such is found in the floodplain of the Irtysh River with lenses. "Gypsum is a sedimentary rock consisting of the mineral gypsum and impurities. The impurities include minerals: dolomite, anhydrite, Celestine, iron hydroxides, sulfur, calcite, quartz, mica, as well as organogenic compounds (mainly bitumen)," she wrote in one of her articles. –"According to the conditions of formation, there are primary gypsum deposits formed in lagoons or lakes, and secondary, among which there are: deposits formed during weathering, and leaching deposits."

The primary lagoon deposits of gypsum are of industrial importance, and the secondary deposits of weathering (anhydrite). Powerful gypsum deposits are formed in zones of dry and hot climate during periods", the expert claims.

"There are so-called curved casts," continues Dina Lepikhina. "They are usually found in clay deposits. Here they come in different sizes: from very small crystals to clusters of crystals with a cross section of 10-15 centimeters. The curvature of crystals is a mysterious phenomenon, and there is no scientific explanation for it. Curved gypsum crystals in clay rocks often form flower like growths. They are called plaster roses."

The beauty of plaster flowers can be found by driving to the former village of Podpusk in the Akula district of Pavlodar region and turning to the Irtysh River. When you reach the river, get off and just take a walk. Places here gladden the eye at any time of the year: in the summer with delicate greenery, in the autumn-with colors… And here, at the shore, you will find whole glades of these mineral flowers. You can't dig them up and take them home; you can touch them and look at them. Plaster is not a jewel and no one will be interested in it on the black market. But where the roses grow, they fit right in.

After wandering around these places, you will certainly build up an appetite and be able to cook dinner on the fire and relax in good company.

You can also watch the local puddles and birds of prey hunting on them; admire the picturesque banks dotted with burrows of swifts, as well as the remains of a neighboring village.

How to get there? From Pavlodar to the village of Podpusk on the highway towards the city of Semey, that is, in the South-East direction – about 130 kilometers.

Attention! The village of Podpusk of Kyzylagash rural district itself was abolished in 2005 by the decision of the akimat of Lebyazhinsky district (now Akkula district) and the maslikhat of this district "due to the loss of its status as a locality with subsequent exclusion from the accounting data", according to the decision of the Pavlodar regional maslikhat of November 25, 2005 N 76/15. But the attractions of the Pass will remain there forever.

Anton Sergeev
Photo By Alibek Dzhenalinov