Not a sight you’d expect to see on the steppes: a tulip-filled expanse.  Never would I have associated this beautiful but relatively domesticated flower with a wild place of spontaneous blooming.

‘And the steppe has its own riches.  In spring the young tulip-filled steppe is an ocean of colours.  The camel-grass is still green; its harsh spines are still soft and tender…’

For another surprising view of the steppe, see also ‘A noble, ancient world’.

Source: Life and Fate, Vasily Grossman; trans. Robert Chandler (New York: New York Review Books, 2006 (1985)), p. 292

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