When Lyubov Morekhodova’s cows go wandering off, the 76-year-old straps on her well-worn ice skates and glides across frozen Lake Baikal. Bundled up against the harsh elements with her hands clasped gently behind her back, she gracefully crosses the Siberian ice, looking for her wayward herd. The skates are hardly fancy; they were made in 1943. But Morekhodova is proud of their durability and craftsmanship.
Morekhodova’s cows and her dog keep her company in this gorgeous, quiet spot. She grew up in the area, then left to work in a factory in nearby Irkutsk, one of Siberia’s largest cities.
But when she retired, she returned to her small, lakeside home. Here, she’s happily self-sufficient and most often alone, splitting wood and pulling buckets of water from deep within the ice as she marvels at the loveliness around her.
“What beauty. What incredible beauty,” she says.