FASCINATING LANDSCAPES AND WONDERFUL NATURAL MONUMENTS: THE KHAYRABAT APPLE TREE
The nature of Turkmenistan is unique and amazingly beautiful. Travelers are attracted by unique natural monuments: stunning flora - forests of wild fruits and nuts, juniper forests on mountain slopes, pistachio savanna woodlands, saxaul forests, floodplain tugai; diverse fauna - Central Asian leopards, argali, kulans, gazelles. Here are mesmerizing landscapes - from picturesque mountain ranges to lifeless desert sands, from green oases - to subtropics with rare animals and plants.
The nature of Western Turkmenistan, which has always been considered lifeless and unusually harsh, will bring many amazing discoveries. Desert plateaus, highlands, sandy plains of the seaside are greeted with marvelous natural monuments. In this region of oil derricks and mud volcanoes, the remains of prehistoric animals - elephants and camels were found, you can find an ancient man's camp and flint tools of the Neolithic, visit caves and walk along disappeared rivers and preserved freshwater lakes. Today we will tell only about some of the amazing natural phenomena of this little-studied and therefore mysterious land.
According to the stories of a local naturalist, on the southern side of Mount Dushak, at an altitude of about two thousand meters, an unnamed spring flows in one of the numerous gorges. Once upon a time, the stream had its own name. But now no one can remember - a lot of time has passed. They say that in the middle of the last century there was a weather station nearby. And even earlier - in this picturesque place there was a people's hydropathic center, where senior officers of the Khayrabat and other outposts, guarding the mountain borders of the country, rested.
The border guards carefully looked after the garden that grew in the gorge by the spring. It was planted here at the end of the 19th century. But more than a hundred years passed and only one tree remained from the beautiful garden in a remote gorge. But what a! The Hayrabat apple tree is an old mighty tree that amazes with its size. Its powerful trunk, more than six meters high, is crowned with a spreading crown with a diameter of at least 6-8 meters. But the most amazing thing is that this apple tree still bears fruit. This weighty fruit - half red, half green - has a wonderful aroma and taste. Unfortunately, no one knows where the seedlings were brought from and what this variety is called. Apparently, the climatic conditions of the mountainous Khayrabat gorge (in Farsi - "city of winds") turned out to be beneficial for the apple tree brought from distant countries. Neither dry summer nor winter cold broke the sturdy tree. The Khayrabat apple tree blooms in May, when other trees have already faded, and bears fruit in November. It has adapted well to sudden changes in the weather. Mountain air, spring water and silent mountains give strength and prolong the life of an old lonely tree in one of the gorges of the mighty Erik-dag.
Prepared by Vladimir Komarov